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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Lower East Side

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In this day and age, when shock-and-awe maneuvers and new-thing sounds tend to get all the plaudits and press in jazz, it says a lot when a throwback duo date is widely admired by critics and fans alike. Such was the case with pianist Ehud Asherie's Upper West Side (Posi-Tone, 2012), which brought him into contact with like-minded saxophonist Harry Allen and presented a program of old chestnuts that were revived by their expert hands. Now, a year after that album first appeared in the marketplace, its companion piece has come to light. Upper West Side and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie and Harry Allen: Lower East Side

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Pianist Ehud Asherie and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen are established musical partners with a shared fondness for a time when songwriting giants like Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers were at their creative zeniths. Lower East Side is the pair's second duo outing, following on from Upper West Side (Posi-Tone, 2012), and once again the two demonstrate how this fondness for a bygone era can still produce fresh and joyous music.The journey from Upper West Side to Lower East Side is geographically short--just a few miles. Musically, Esherie and Allen's journey is as brief as can be. Both albums ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Upper West Side

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Upper West Side is as fine a duet album as has been made by a pianist with another instrumentalist. This declaration may very possibly include the albums made by Hank Jones with Tommy Flanagan and Oscar Peterson with Dizzy Gillespie. It is a credit to pianist Ehud Asherie that he made this album at such a young age in comparison to the masters who have been mentioned in the same breath, perhaps with seeming blasphemy. However, considering Asherie's instrumental mastery, the superiority of his musical ideation, the often surprising turns of his improvisations, and--this is probably of paramount importance--his understanding ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Upper West Side

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Wherever tenor saxophonist Harry Allen shows up, there is sure to be a major outbreak of Old School. Along with Scott Hamilton, Allen is a keeper of the flame encompassing saxophone practice from Frankie Trumbauer to Lester Young. Pianist Ehud Asherie is cut from the same bolt as Ralph Sutton and Dick Hyman. His previous Posi-Tone recordings, Look Out (2007), Modern Life (2010), and Organic (2010) all demonstrate that Asherie is well-schooled in stride and modern keyboard styles, as well as Chitlin' Circuit greasy organ jazz.In combination with Allen, Asherie entertains his love of 1930s piano (Earl Hines, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Upper West Side

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The closing track on pianist Ehud Asherie's Modern Life (Posi-Tone, 2010), whether intentional or not, came to serve as musical foreshadowing for this album. Modern Life has Asherie leading a crack quartet through a program of largely lesser-performed gems by cream-of-the-crop composers like George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Tadd Dameron, but when the album reaches its conclusion the rhythm section is relieved of its duties, while tenor saxophonist Harry Allen stays onboard for an emotionally riveting two-man take on Billy Strayhorn's “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing." Three months later, this pair would find itself in a Brooklyn recording studio, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie: Organic

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Organic is Israeli-born Ehud Asherie's fourth album as leader on the Posi- Tone label. It's also his second release of 2010, following the excellent Modern Life, although it was actually recorded two years before that album, back in 2007. It's another quartet recording of predominantly straight-ahead jazz and shows, once again, the young musician's affinity with and talent for this musical genre. As with Modern Life, this album is a pleasing combination of Asherie's original tunes and classics from writers such as Sonny Rollins and Leonard Bernstein. In contrast to the earlier album, Organic showcases Asherie's talents ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie: Organic

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Contrary to what some might believe, the designation of a musician as an organist or pianist does not have to be mutually exclusive. While some players choose to focus all of their time and energy on one of these instruments, many others prefer to branch out and try their hand at both. Fats Waller wasn't afraid to work in both worlds, and a whole list of modern-day players, including Gary Versace, Larry Goldings and Sam Yahel, are adept on both instruments. Ehud Asherie can now be added to that list. His string of piano-led discs on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie featuring Harry Allen: Modern Life

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It is rare indeed to discover a young pianist, so obviously neither a baby nor a Baby Boomer, who is steeped in the history and tradition of American music from the turn of the twentieth century onwards. To find he can write a mean blues is a wonder and more than a joy to hear. To then get him in the studio in the company of someone like tenor saxophonist Harry Allen must be any producer's dream, but Marc Free made it happen. Ehud Asherie and Harry Allen are swinging madly on Modern Life. The two musicians seem soul brothers ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie: Modern Life

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New York-based pianist Ehud Asherie swings hard on Modern Life, his third release for Posi-Tone Records. With the help of tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Chuck Riggs, the Israeli-born Asherie demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the piano jazz tradition.

Throughout this set of standards and riff-based Asherie originals, it doesn't take long to realize the sincerity in the pianists approach to uncompromising swing. In every aspect of his playing--voicing, phrasing, finesse--Asherie convincingly harkens back to an era of stylists such as George Shearing and Oscar Peterson who could straddle the fence between swing and bebop. Perhaps ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie: Modern Life

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Modern life, if this fine recording from Israeli-born, New York-based pianist Ehud Asherie is anything to go by, happened sometime between the late-1940s and the late-'50s. From the beautifully-designed packaging--with the greens and golds of the graphics matched by those of Asherie's suit, shirt and tie--to the exquisite renditions of classic tunes and a couple of Asherie originals, Modern Life is an album that oozes nostalgia and a love for a style of jazz that remains fresh and engaging today. Asherie's piano style reflects the inspiration of players such as Errol Garner. Light and lyrical, it's an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie: Modern Life

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A dichotomy exists within the musical mind of pianist Ehud Asherie. The youthful pianist is clearly an old soul in many ways. His choice of material--including tunes from George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn and Jerome Kern--combined with his knowledge of stride piano and fondness for the jazz masters of the early twentieth century are a throwback. However, Asherie also shows a thoroughly modern concept with some of his choices and stylistic preferences. These two sides converge on Modern Life. While he went with a quintet on Lockout (Posi-Tone, 2007) and Swing Set (Posi-Tone, 2008) featured a trio, he split the difference ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ehud Asherie: Lockout

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Bebop is almost seen now as the default form of jazz. Back in the day though, most jazz musicians still swung and swayed like Sammy Kaye, so the “new sound Dizzy Gillespie and his cohorts invented was as jarring as anything coming out of today's New York jazz underground. With Lockout, pianist Ehud Asherie takes that uptown sound and runs with it, spurred on by a monster quartet that features two major players at Smalls, the downtown club where Asherie cooked up his chops.

Four of the nine cuts on Lockout are Asherie originals, though they are almost indistinguishable from ...



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