Recorded for John Zorn's Tzadik Records, and sustaining the spirit of radical Jewish music, Pitom's second album is a psychodramatic crash-and-burn event. Spanning Sonic Youth-like reckless abandon, hardcore grunge, jazz improvisation and the blasphemous morphing of traditional Jewish music stylizations with jazz-rock, the unit abides by a take-no-prisoners approach. Offering an antithesis to the norm, with a titanium edge, complex unison choruses and punishing grooves, Pitom's "punkaassjewjazz" credo erves as a fitting depiction of its moving parts.
From the opening bell on "In the Merit of...," guitarist Yoshie Fruchter strikes the knockout blow, with brazen crunch chords atop a punishing rock pulse and violinist Jeremy Brown's streaming lines. The musicians straddle the free zone in spots, but unleash a torrid Jewish folk melody within the realm of progressive jazz-rock.
Brown's beefy and energized solo gushes with recoiling staccato passages and spiraling single-note leads. Fruchter adds to the intensity with an intergalactic jaunt, via pounding support from the rhythm section. It's outlandish escapism amid the pressure-packed ride as the band threads tradition with a notoriously psychotic edge. All in good fun, however.
Personnel: Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz: bass; Yoshie Fruchter: guitar; Kevin Zubek: drums; Jeremy Brown: violin, viola.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.