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...

291

Daniel Meron: Directions

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/composer Daniel Meron makes an emphatic debut with Directions, a quintet album of stylish and original tunes. Meron grew up in Israel and was appointed Chief Musical Arranger to the Israeli military's performance troupes during his service. It's an unusual apprenticeship for a jazz musician, but on the evidence of this album it's an effective one. A scholarship to Berklee College in 2007, where he was taught by Greg Osby and Joe Lovano, was followed by a move to New York where Directions was recorded in June 2009.

Meron's arrangements create a full and rich sound. As a writer, Meron produces some beautiful themes and melodies; as a player, he has a crisp, strong, style that enables him to move readily from warm, engaging ballads to fast, hard bop, passages with apparent ease. There are phases of forceful, almost aggressive playing but, for the most part, Directions is defined by a melodic, lyrical, style that is immediately engaging. Drummer Ryo Noritake is always to the fore and plays a major role in setting the album's mood—even though, on occasion, his cymbals threaten to overwhelm the lead instruments while, by contrast, Noam Wiesenberg's bass sometimes sits too far back in the mix.

"Battle for Independence" begins with a brief but emphatic horn phrase; a reference, perhaps, to Meron's military experience. This phrase and the hard-edged, combative horns of saxophonist Jesse Scheinin and trumpeter Jeremy Sinclair are powerful but somewhat untypical of Meron's writing. "Ad" has more of a classical feel—a smooth, reflective, piece characterized by the tidal wash of Noritake's cymbals and Meron's delicate piano; also featuring a gently restrained duet between Sinclair and Scheinin. "Paint the Tonic" is an up-tempo tune that starts life with a playful, jagged, piano solo, while "Nature Reaction" has elements of funk and even a hint of a Latin influence.

"Rushed In" is a trio number: a swinging, joyous, tune to close the album. Meron is at his finest here, delivering a sparkling performance. Wiesenberg is also at his best: his bass sits higher in the mix, as it deserves to do, and his solo is strong and assured. "Backwards" features more of the impressively assertive horns of Scheinin and Sinclair, but here they play with each other, rather than in the apparent competition of "Battle for Independence."

The most impressive tune is "Bombay," a trio performance on which Meron's piano sound is crystal clear, precise and beautiful. The piece builds slowly, ebbing and flowing between slow, spacious passages and periods of real tension—the changes driven especially by Noritake's cymbal playing. Gorgeous.

Directions may be a debut album, but has a maturity and a sense of originality that many more established artists would envy. Meron is a talented writer, arranger and musician and the quintet plays with empathy as well as skill. There is a real beauty and humanity in this music.

Track Listing: Battle for Independence; Sleepless Nights; Backwards; Ad; Directions; Nature Reaction; Bombay; Paint the Tonic; Rushed In.

Personnel: Daniel Meron: piano; Jeremy Sinclair: trumpet; Jesse Scheinin: tenor sax; Noam Wiesenberg: acoustic bass; Ryo Noritake: drums.

Title: Directions | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
This Was Now

This Was Now

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records
2018

buy
Sky Begins

Sky Begins

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records
2016

buy
Directions

Directions

Self Produced
2010

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read The Martian's Playground Album Reviews
The Martian's Playground
By Geno Thackara
January 24, 2019
Read Ex Nihilo Album Reviews
Ex Nihilo
By Chris May
January 24, 2019
Read Path Of Totality Album Reviews
Path Of Totality
By Roger Farbey
January 24, 2019
Read Time Like This Album Reviews
Time Like This
By John Sharpe
January 24, 2019
Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019