Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

131

Eyal Maoz: Edom

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Eyal Maoz: Edom Israel-born, New York-based guitarist Eyal Maoz's debut release on Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture series, Edom, is not officially part of the ever-multiplying series of tributes to the Masada songbook by Tzadik's founder and visionary, John Zorn. But in many ways, Maoz pays his respect here to the canonization of Zorn's new Jewish music, and even more so to a Zorn associate in many incarnations of Masada, guitarist Marc Ribot.

Maoz is the founder of the fusion-neo-klezmer Lemon Juice Quartet, which released three adventurous and eclectic releases (Visitor: Live, Self Released, 1999; Republic, Chant, 2001; Peasant Songs, Piadrum, 2002). The group's last release featured Maoz's arrangements of music by French composer Erik Satie and Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. The LJQ also performed a tribute to the Masada songbook on Voices in the Wilderness (Tzadik, 2003).

Edom features acoustic and electric bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, Maoz's associate since the formation of the LJQ, who is also a member of other new-klezmer outfits on Tzadik, such as Rashanim, Satlah, and Pharaoh's Daughter's Basya Schechter. John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin and Wood fame) has performed Zorn's Electric Masada on the B3 organ, and drummer Ben Perowsky recently recorded the Masada songbook with Jamie Saft's trio (Astaroth: Book of Angels, Vol.1, Tzadik, 2005) and has worked with Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, and Chris Speed.

Edom offers nine original tracks, all penned by Maoz. The best pieces are the ones that distance him from Zorn's legacy and the Masada songbook, such as the opening track, "Innocence," which features Maoz and Medeski raging and dense, playing fusion lines pushed by the tight and aggressive rhythm section of Blumenkranz and Perowsky. On the second part of "From There," Medeski's playing brings to mind the raw sound of early releases by MMW. But unfortunately these occasions are rare. On other tracks like "Hope and Destruction," "Deep," "Chita," "Big," and "Strength," Maoz follows Zorn's angular scales and themes, and these tracks could easily have assimilated within the repertoire of Zorn's Bar Kokhba Sextet. Maoz's use of vibrato on these tracks is quite reminiscent of Ribot's guitar work with the Bar Kokhba Sextet.

Each member of the quartet plays spectacularly throughout Edom, but considering the breadth of Masada-related releases and tributes—including the recent fusion incarnation of Rashanim's daring covers of unrecorded Masada songs on Masada Rock (Tzadik, 2005)—I would expect more from Maoz, based on his already proven compositional skills with the Lemon Juice Quartet.


Track Listing: Innocence; Hope and Destruction; Lost; Deep; Chita; From There; Big; Strength; Eye.

Personnel: Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz: acoustic bass, electric guitar; Eyal Maoz: guitar; John Medeski: organ; Ben Perowsky: drums

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Routes" CD/LP/Track Review Routes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Dixie Chicken" CD/LP/Track Review Dixie Chicken
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!