352

Omer Klein: Heart Beats

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Considering the rhythmic spark that freshens this program, it is fitting that Omer Klein's solo piano album begins with a drum solo. Sitting down at the drum set, he introduces his forte with hands on drums and a personalized muffle that contains the basic building blocks of life: Heart Beats. Elsewhere, he spends his time at the piano working up daydreams and reveries that float impressions closely identified with his song titles. "Alma" and "Ship of Fools" rely on simplicity and lyricism for their meaning, while "Voices of War" pushes forcefully with some dissonance. "Sun Light" and "Shalvat Nefesh" move hymn-like with repetition and solemnity as Klein's impressions demonstrate their character with ordinary means and predictable behavior.

More interesting are the rhythmic numbers that he's created to outline his program of North African and Middle Eastern folk music merged with jazzy ideas. "Middle East Blues" carries an ethnic hue with its exotic harmony and a complex meter. "Yemen," "Niggun" and "5/8 Mantra" stand out as the best of Klein's dozen compositions due to the rhythmic variety that are pumped into each.

Born in Israel, schooled at the New England Conservatory and winner of the Jazz Hoilaart Contest in Belgium as well as the International Chamber Music Competition of New England, Klein combines elements from his native cultural environment with classical training to create varied feelings. He's at his best when churning an appetizing rhythm and applying improvised patterns in careful doses. Keeping ahead of the ordinary element in contemporary jazz, however, means laying out one's best qualities consistently.

Track Listing: Heart Beats; Voices of War; Arak; Yemen; Ship of Fools; Niggun; Alma; 5/8 Mantra; Shalvat Nefesh; Middle East Blues; Remembering; Sun Light.

Personnel: Omer Klein: piano, drums (1).

Title: Heart Beats | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Smalls Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jazz Flute Traditions CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Nerve Dance CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "That's What She Said..." CD/LP/Track Review That's What She Said...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Kisaragi" CD/LP/Track Review Kisaragi
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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