386

Omer Klein: Introducing Omer Klein

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
New York's Smalls club has been the launching pad for an inordinate amount of jazz artists that belies its diminutive square footage. One segment of their territory is an Israeli-American jazz connection that has produced a culture of premier artists who have gone on to influence the broader jazz community. Pianist Omer Klein is part of a second wave of these musicians who mix virtuosity, world music sensibility and melodic flair to affect a global sound.

Omer Avital, whose exquisitely powerful bass has helped to define this sound, joins with drummer Ziv Ravitz and percussionist Itamar Doari on this debut. Klein's style and compositional strength brings to mind other melodic jazz/world masters and those that enjoy pianist Maurice El Medioni's rai stylings will be very much at home here. The Mideastern flavor is highly evident and streaks through these selections in the way that strips of chocolate run through a delicious French croissant. The rhythms and melodies add to the jazz without sacrificing the rich texture and roots of the original style.

Klein makes good use of a lyrical and fluid right hand in the context of Avital's support and a broad percussive landscape. In addition to this first-rate musicianship several of these melodies are quite catchy while others are seductive and hypnotic. Two solo piano works, the all-too-short "Unerasable" that uses rubato to effective advantage, and the hymn-like "Tiul Be 'Israel" contrast with the up-tempo "Abutbul," quick stepping "Netanya" and the delightfully brisk "Oud Song." "Kavana" is a focused closer that strikes a beautiful balance between rhythm and melody that subtly builds to a devotional climax. An auspicious debut that is compositionally strong, musically relevant and refreshingly listenable.

Track Listing: Abutbul; Malchut; Oud Song; Unerasable; Melody For Alon; 3/4 Mantra; Netanya; The Journey Home; Tiul Be 'Israel; Kavana.

Personnel: Omer Klein: piano, vocals (2); Omer Avital: bass, oud (7); Ziv Ravitz: drums; Itamar Doari: percussion.

Title: Introducing Omer Klein | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Smalls Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Not This Time" CD/LP/Track Review Not This Time
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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