4

Oran Etkin: Gathering Light

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Oran Etkin: Gathering Light Multi-reedist Oran Etkin's first album—Kelenia (Motema Music, 2009)—fused Malian sounds and Jewish music with jazz. Its follow-up—Wake Up, Clarinet! (1-2-3-4 Go, 2010)—was geared toward kids. Now, for round three, Etkin has cast his net over a huge portion of the globe, pulling together, arranging, and morphing musical ideals he's encountered while touring through Asia, Israel, and portions of Europe.

Gathering Light is a gloriously global musical mélange that finds Etkin in good company, creating alternately gripping and grooving performances with the help of some of the most distinct personalities on the scene today. Ubiquitous guitarist Lionel Loueke, fluid-and-fierce drummer Nasheet Waits, stalwart bassist Ben Allison, and underrated-and-adventurous trombonist Curtis Fowlkes make for a compelling mix, burrowing deep into these pieces.

Etkin visits heady Indonesian settings built on the idea of marrying heart and voice ("Gambang Suling"), shines a light on the plaintive and beautiful aspects of Israeli music ("Shirim Ad Kan"), and infuses Japanese music with a distinctly American blues aesthetic ("Takeda (Homesick Blues)"). He even revels in the exploration of outré environs ("Tony's Dance") and blends Yiddish overtones and mournful New Orleans undertones ("Der Gasn Nign (Street Song)").

Etkin's bass clarinet work, which deserves the "beyond category" distinction, remains his calling card, but he also makes a case for his clarinet and tenor saxophone in a few places on this one; the former often comes off as chipper and bright ("Taxi Dance" and "Guangzhou Taxi"), and the latter speaks in measured and cryptic phrases ("Scattering Light" and "Distant Sounds Of Change").

Gathering Light is firm evidence that the world is Etkin's oyster, palette, and muse. This is global jazz done the right way.

Track Listing: Gambang Suling; Taxi Dance; Shirim Ad Kan; Gratitude; Takeda (Homesick Blues); All I Really Want To Do Is Dance; Scattering Light; Tony's Dance; Der Gasn Nign (Street Song); Distant Sounds Of Change; Guangzhou Taxi; When It's Sleepy Time Down South.

Personnel: Oran Etkin: bass clarinet, clarinet, tenor saxophone; Ben Allison: bass; Curtis Fowlkes: trombone; Lionel Loueke: guitar, vocals; Nasheet Waits: drums.

Title: Gathering Light | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Motema Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Picking Order" CD/LP/Track Review Picking Order
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.