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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Assaf Trio: Second Row Behind The Painter

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Pianist Roy Assaf decided to try a different studio tactic when he set out to make this record. Instead of simply having his trio take multiple passes at tracks on a single predetermined playlist, he decided to have the group simulate a stay at a club. They recorded multiple sets, accumulating almost five hours worth of recorded music. When all was said and done, he sifted through it all to come up with the best material for this album. It's a novel way to bridge the studio-live divide, and it worked like a charm here. Assaf and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Assaf: Respect, Vol.1

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Innovation and as-yet-unheard-of ideals tend to sell headlines in jazz, but they mean nothing without respect for those who paved the road to the present. Many young emerging talents seem content to walk into jazz without doing their due diligence in discovery and digestion, but that often puts them in a peculiar position of being a mouthpiece for a music that they don't fully embrace. Jazz is certainly the here-and-now, but it's also the there-and-then, and that's a concept that lives at the heart of pianist Roy Assaf's work. For his debut album on Jazz Legacy Productions, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Augmented Reality: Augmented Reality

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Collaborative trios are a tricky business. While all three members might set out to form an equal musical partnership, that rarely happens. Sometimes the instrumentation dictates the focal point, as with the fascinating group, Fly--drummer Jeff Ballard, bassist Larry Grenadier and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner--which is as democratic as they come, yet the horn draws the most attention by virtue of the general dynamic within a horn-bass-drums trio. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing, but it bears mentioning because no group of musicians, no matter how well-intentioned, will ever come across as 100% equals. No two snowflakes are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roy Assaf & Eddy Khaimovich Quartet: Andarta

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Pianist Roy Assaf and bassist Eddy Khaimovich are true musical soul mates. Much like the legendary partnerships of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams, or Chick Corea and Gary Burton, Assaf and Khaimovich share unique similarities in their approach to playing and composing, perhaps as a result of their shared cultural heritage. On Andarta, the two New York-based, Israeli natives display strong technical skills through an array of stylistic influences.

The quartet for the session is rounded out by saxophonist Robin Verheyen and drummer Ronen Itzik, while trumpeter Roy Hargrove lends his unmistakable presence to three ...



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