152

Issi Rozen: Dark Beauty

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Issi Rozen: Dark Beauty On an initial blind spin of Dark Beauty, the leadership slot isn't readily apparent – to the leader's credit. It could be any one of the quartet members, so balanced are the contributions, with piano and guitar owning a seemingly equal share of the solo time.

Israeli-born guitarist Issi Rozen leads the quartet on Dark Beauty, which is a loose English translation of the opening tune's title, "Sheharhoret," a perfect starting point for the music that follows: wistful, minor key compositions in a spectrum of grey hues.

Issi Rozen has developed, in a bit more than a decade since his summa cum laude graduation from Berklee, a distinctive personal sound on his instrument: a slightly blurred delivery, each note blending into the next, with occasional forays into a sharp and piquant approach. He brings to the table subtle Middle Eastern motifs, while drummer Harvey Wirht – a native of Surinam, and the time-keeper for the Boston-based Either/Orchestra – brings in his always beguiling Afro-Caribbean rhythms.

Pianist Gilad Barkan, when he goes into flight on uptempto interludes, provides delicate, gravity-defying swirls of notes, bringing Chucho Valdez's right hand to mind; but as a package, he too has developed is own sound, a cogent blend of the percussive and lyrical. And bassist Thomson Kneeland bows beautifully ("Sheharhoret") and puts together a compelling pizzcato solo ("Dramland").

But the considerable strength of the set is the cohesive ensemble play and the sustained start-to-finish mood. Too many young – and perhaps unassured – jazz players mix styles and moods on early recordings, aiming at showing off their versatility. But self assurance isn't a problem for Issi Rozen's quartet; these players have put together a set of melodic and well-constructed tunes, a compelling and darkly beautiful work.

Visit New Step Music at www.newstepmusic.com .

Track Listing: Sheharhoret, Ramat Gan, Dreamland, Segment, Spring, Maya's Blues, Spirits, Sixteen, Inspiration, Geshem

Personnel: Issi Rozen--guitar; Gilad Barkan--piano; Thomson Kneeland--bass; Harvey Wirht--drums

Title: Dark Beauty | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: New Step Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Left Right Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "2016" CD/LP/Track Review 2016
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Live with a Boom" CD/LP/Track Review Live with a Boom
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 19, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!