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Ehran Elisha Ensemble: Continue

Eyal Hareuveni By

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The title of the Israeli-American drummer Ehran Elisha new ensemble album suggests his approach to music and improvisation. Inspired by the approach of Miles Davis, its art, aesthetics, compositional and improvisational tools never rest, simply continue forward. Always enriching the creative process, whether within formal compositions, free improvisations solo performances or with new musicians.

The ensemble, a quintet comprised of Elisha long-time friends—violinist Sam Bardfield and tenor saxophonist David Bindham, together with acclaimed double bassist Ken Filiano and Elisha's father, pianist Haim Elisha, a professor of music, an orchestral and operatic conductor who is well- versed in the twentieth century contemporary music, as well as the modes of Jewish and Middle-Eastern music. Haim Elisha fits organically with this ensemble, and it is clear that the profound musical understanding between the father and son is telepathic. Ehran Elisha can intuit his father's moves before he gets there, moves that are inseparable from his character and soul.

The 45-minutes "Continue," in its four parts, is the main piece here. It was written as a "prose score," a detailed descriptive-suggestive musical arc for the ensemble five improvisers to follow. Its spirit and compositional motifs are rooted in the American free jazz legacy but its scope and the inherent freedom allows the ensemble musicians to suggest their own personal interpretations of the score, included extended solo parts, and to form dramatic and multi-layered textures. These nuanced textures are charged with lush rhythmical flow, playful, shifting dynamics and enriched by the diverse and versatile improvisational skills of the ensemble musicians and their panoramic musical vocabularies.

The following pieces are more concise and lyrical. "Kiryat Moshe," "Revadim (Furrows)" and "Subway Sunday" feature Ehran and Haim Elisha and emphasize the intimate and unique musical bond between the father and son and their ability to draw immediate yet detailed narratives, even within a compact frameworks of space and time. The last piece, "Boui's Elegy" is an drums solo piece of Ehran Elisha, dedicated to his departed friend Josh Waldman. This piece mourns the loss of close friend in ceremonial, contemplative segments but also celebrates his spirit in uplifting, festive passages.

Highly impressive.

Track Listing: Continue, part one; Continue, part two, Continue, part three; Continue, epilogue; Kiryat Moshe; Revadim (Furrows); Subway Sundays; Boui’s Elegy.

Personnel: Haim Elisha: piano; Sam Bardfeld: violin; David bindman: tenor saxophone; Ken Filiano: double bass; Ehran Elisha: drums.

Title: Continue | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Cadence Jazz Records

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