All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

437

The New Albert Beger Quartet: Big Mother

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The cover of Israeli saxophonist Albert Beger's Big Mother captures your attention immediately. Yinon Tubi's photos of an anonymous, depressing rubbish dump frame Beger's love cry on behalf of all mothers, a conceptual six-part suite that calls us to action before it's too late.

The new work challenges Beger, who usually opts for shorter compositions that emphasize his abilities as an improviser and his close interplay with his partners. Most noteworthy, these have included bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake, with whom he recorded Evolving Silence, Vol.1 and Evolving Silence, Vol. 2 (Earsay, 2005 and 2006). This time Beger has chosen to focus on the collective qualities of his new quartet.

The line-up feature Beger's trusty bassist Gabriel Meir, and two new members, pianist Aviran Ben Naim and drummer Yoav Zohar. Naim brings a deeper dimension to the quartet with his Ellingotinian harmonic sophistication, and with well-articulated solos that contrast and comment on Beger's fiery Aylerian blowing. The muscular drumming of Zohar supplies a steady beat, and enables Meir to use extended techniques on the bass and to introduce more sounds and colors to the palette. Beger concentrates on tenor saxophone.

The suite begins with Naim introducing the dark and dramatic "The One". Beger's playing is more reserved than usual, but still intense and expressive, and the whole quartet move as a collective unit in which each player fills his role in a complex and dramatic puzzle. The following "Yellow" offers a looser framework for improvisation. Beger begins and closes with short, optimistic solos, followed by a Naim, who reflects on Beger's statements while Meir and Zohar explore different rhythmic patterns.

"Tales Of Beelzebub", a variation on G.I. Gurdjieff's famous book, Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson, is the most exciting piece here, and a highlight in Beger's recent performances. Its dramatic shifts and split-second stops, the well-built tension and the clear affinity between all members the quartet, lead to spirited solos from Beger and Naim.

Beger duets with Naim on the slow and meditative "Point Of No Return", before the two introduce "Big mother", a dark, march-like piece that revolves around Meir's inventive arco playing and Zohar's tough drumming. Beger, in his most exciting and free playing here, digs deeper into the repetitive "tribal" groove before returning to the emotional opening theme.

The concluding "The One For Hope" features Naim, who repeats the dramatic opening theme of the suite. This time around the quartet sound is more focused and perhaps more determined to suggest a belief in the power of music to inspire us to heal the ailing Big Mother. Highly recommended.


Track Listing: The One; Yellow; Tales Of Beelzebub; Point Of No Return; Big Mother; The One For Hope.

Personnel: Albert Beger: tenor saxophone; Aviran Ben Naim: piano; Gabriel Meir: bass; Yoav Zohar: drums.

Title: Big Mother | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Earsay

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Long Story

Long Story

Albert Beger
Peacemaker

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Way To Go

The Way To Go

Jazzis Records
2014

buy
 

There's Nothing...

Ayler Records
2012

buy
There’s Nothing Better To Do

There’s Nothing...

OutNow Recordings
2012

buy
Peacemaker

Peacemaker

Anova Music
2010

buy
Big Mother

Big Mother

Earsay
2008

buy
Listening

Listening

Earsay
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "And She Speaks - A Collection Of Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review And She Speaks - A Collection Of Ballads
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 25, 2018
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Unleashed" CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Songbook Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Volume 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "Close Up" CD/LP/Track Review Close Up
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Slow Learner" CD/LP/Track Review Slow Learner
by John Sharpe
Published: December 7, 2017