157

Eli Degibri: Israeli Song

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Eli Degibri: Israeli Song Saxophonist Eli Degibri's name may be the least familiar one on the cover of Israeli Song. His quartet mates on this superb disc are of the highest level; it would be hard to find higher profile or finer accompanists. With that lineup—two legendary stars in drummer Al Foster and bassist Ron Carter—and, in pianist Brad Mehldau, a newer huge talent who keeps gathering momentum—it becomes a matter, for the leader, of holding his own. He does so with high energy, aplomb and originality, with both his playing and composing.

Degibri penned six of the eleven tunes in the set, but the quartet kicks off with Mehldau's "Unrequited," offered originally on the pianist's Art of the Trio, Volume 3: Songs (Warner Brothers, 1998). Degibri, on soprano saxophone, gives the tune a yearning mood in front of Mehldau's adroit accompaniment and extraordinary solo, evolving from pensive sadness and peaking with anguish, before settling, perhaps, into wistful acceptance.

Full of smooth flowing jauntiness, Degibri's "Mr. R.C." features the saxophonist on tenor. Another Degibri-penned gem, "Judy the Dog," rushes full speed ahead, with the leader's tenor sending out flurries of notes in a well-told story, beginning with a smolder and gathering into high flames.

The saxophonist covers Dizzy Gillespie's classic "Bebop" in a duet with Foster. The pair seems to push each other into new territories—two eloquent musicians arguing a point, batting ideas and back and forth, and coming to a tentative agreement in the end.

"Manic Depressive," written by Degibri and Barak Mori, wends its way through the bluesy wee hours, on a tune that sounds like something Ben Webster would have dug into—a delivery by the leader and his cohorts full of feeling and deep down soul.

Foster and Carter each contribute a tune to the set: the drummer's funky and upbeat "Look What You Do To Me," and bassist's quirky and tight-grooved "Third Plane," which gives the leader another chance to stretch out on tenor.

Degibri explores the ever-familiar "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," played straight in simple, beautiful glory, with just a hard-blowing tenor horn and Carter's big, solid bass lines. Degibri then wraps things up with the title tune, an inward piece featuring the leader's tenor and Meldau's lovely, near-classical piano explorations.

Degibri, with four previous CDs as a leader to his name, has crafted his breakout set with Israeli Song.


Track Listing: Unrequited; Mr. R.C.; Judy the Dog; Jealous Eyes; Manic Depressive; Bebop; Liora; Look At What You Do To Me; Third Plane; Somewhere Over the Rainbow; Israeli Song.

Personnel: Eli Degibri: tenor and soprano saxophones; Brad Mehldau: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Al Foster: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Anzic Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Because I Love You" CD/LP/Track Review Because I Love You
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Brooklyn Blowhards" CD/LP/Track Review Brooklyn Blowhards
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Inspired" CD/LP/Track Review Inspired
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Wheel of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Wheel of Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!