It's getting to the point where it's almost impossible to pigeonhole an artist into any one category---and that can't be anything but a good thing. Sure, some people like to think of the artists they love as jazz, rock or classical musicians, but the truth is that, more and more, musicians simply want to be thought of as people who play music. Still, there's an intrinsic need to categorize music, if for no other reason than to help provide some context in order to help others decide whether or not it's something they might like. There's little doubt, based on ...read more
Maybe it's the unfashionably hot weather that's hit the UK in recent summers, but there's something almost cheery about drummer Asaf Sirkis' Shepherd Stories. Sirkis' church organ/guitar based Inner Noise recordings wove a jazz-gothic tale, while The Monk (SAM Productions, 2008)--with guitarist Tassos Spiliotopoulos and bassist Yaron Stavi--balanced tantalizingly between pretty melancholy and a slightly dark aesthetic. That said, a lyrical vein has always permeated Sirkis' music Letting Go (Stonebird Productions, 2010) signaled the trio's move toward less introspective and more dynamic music and the trend continues here on a largely up-beat, buoyant set of tunes. After six ...read more
Making changes in a trio can be risky a thing. If there's a special chemistry in a group, the slightest change in the lineup could spoil the magic of the music. For years, pianist John Law has had an effective formula with his Art of Sound Trio, with drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Sam Burgess, but Three Leaps of the Gazelle announces a significant change: Burgess is replaced by bassist Yuri Goloubev, a virtuoso musician and an old acquaintance of the pianist. Fortunately, this change only adds to the qualities of the music.Like Law himself, Goloubev has a ...read more
The quiet evolution of drummer Asaf Sirkis as a composer has been fascinating to behold and almost as beguiling as his playing. The confluence of influences that give shape to his rhythms--Middle Eastern, Indian and jazz--combined with a love of Sun Ra's music and an interest in astronomy, results in music which is difficult to pin down, yet which is undeniably hypnotic, in a slightly dark and brooding manner. Where Letting Go differs fromThe Monk (SAM, 2008) is in the slightly sunnier visage the music presents. The opener, Chennai Dream,"--with Yaron Stavi's tuneful bass at the fore--is ...read more
Tzadik recording artist/guitarist Eyal Maoz teams with U.K.-based drummer/leader of The Inner Noise, Asaf Sirkis. Here, the duo projects style, substance and gobs of variety on these sprightly duets for the avant-garde Swedish record label, Ayler Records. Elementary Dialogues is an album built on cunning improvisation, where the instrumentalists delve into laidback funk-rock, noise-shaping maneuvers and quirky deviations, among many other elements.
Maoz's odd-phrasings and Jimi Hendrix-like cosmic meltdowns are abetted by his fierce soloing escapades in line with Sirkis' polyrhythmic aplomb. The guitarist pulls a consortium of tricks out of his bag and alters his distortion techniques on a ...read more
In music, the material of the artist is sound. Music is the shaping of sound. It's no coincidence, then, that British pianist John Law has named his ambitious tetralogy The Art of Sound. The final installment, Congregation: The Art of Sound Volume 4, finds Law working with the same trio--bassist Sam Burgess and drummer Asaf Sirkis--as he did on the very first release in the series, The Art of Sound (33 Jazz, 2007).
One of the advantages of the series is that it changes between solo recitations and group work, while still working with a core repertoire. Thus, ...read more
Meet Asaf Sirkis:Born in 1969 in Petah-Tikva, Israel, Asaf later moved to the town of Rehovot, where he spent his teens and early twenties. This was an influential move for Asaf, as it was here amongst the diverse cultural influences he found in Rehovot that Asaf began to show an interest in music and rhythm. In Rehovot he lived amongst people from North Africa, east and central Europe, and the Middle East. Living in Shaarayim, the Yemenite neighbourhood in Rehovot, Asaf was particularly drawn to Yemenite culture, music, and rhythms.
At the age of ...read more