Flutist Mark Weinstein has made a career of fusing world music elements with jazzy sensibilities with finesse and style. On In Jerusalem he tackles the rich Hasidic heritage of song. He and his band interpret both secular and religious tunes as well as original compositions with delightful spontaneity and ethereal diapason.
The Sabbath hymn "Repozaras" opens with Weinstein's flute dancing over bassist Gilad Abro's oud like strums and dual thumping gallop of drummer Haim Peskoff and percussionist Gilad Dobrecky. Weinstein embellishes the melodic theme with lyricism and effervescence while Dobrecky lays down infectious rhythms. The resulting ambience is uplifting and celebratory.
Dobrecky engages Haim Peskoff in a thunderous and thrilling duet on the blues-flavored take of "Mizmor L'David." Guitarist Steve Peskoff takes center stage with a complex, pensive improvisation that simmers with reserved passion. Weinstein deftly expands on the song's motifs with a fluid and soulful approach all the while preserving its mystical essence.
The Russian dance "Ozidanie" is performed gently like a lullaby as Weinstein's mellifluous lines float within a hypnotic atmosphere. Dobrecky's instruments chime and cascade like rainfall while Haim Peskoff spellbinding solo complements Abro's deeply sonorous and heady reverberations.
Abro demonstrates breathtaking agility as he constructs a complex extemporization with surefootedness and alacrity on Steve Peskoff's cinematic "Adayin Chashoock." Weinstein showcases his characteristic charm and elegance as his warm, thick phrases undulate over the rumbling, rattling refrains. Peskoff's unhurried and expressive string work builds a captivating monologue that draws upon Middle Eastern harmonies and Western Classical structural rigor.
The engaging album concludes on a high note with the sublime "Breslov Nigun." Rolling thuds and primal beats set a dramatic ambience that Weinstein's muscular, yearning flute enhances. Steve Peskoff's thick resonant chords add a serene and solemn mood. An intriguing group conversation gives way to Abro's poetic and angular monologue. Weinstein's expectant and evocative tones close the piece with nocturnesque melancholy.
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