166

Paul Shapiro: It's In The Twilight

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
If this is an example of radical Jewish culture, as Tzadik bills it, then a whole lot of Gentiles would be doing themselves an enormous favour if they tapped into it. Listeners of all cultures from around the world are familiar with the idea of the "keeper," meaning an item that will find a permanent home on their shelves, as opposed to landing in the racks of the local second-hand store, and I knew this title was a keeper by the end of track two.

In a world better than the one we presently live in, music which so effortlessly spans the distance between the joyous and the melancholic, at the same time as it often unites the two in the most unlikely juxtaposition, might transcend cultural differences. So at the same time as the music on offer here is self-evidently of its culture, it also reaches out beyond those confines in ways that are nothing but positive, frequently evoking thoughts of David Murray's octet at its most trenchantly communicative.

All six musicians are entirely at home in Shapiro's music, and if this is a stable lineup, then Shapiro is fortunate indeed to have such a band at his disposal. That's especially true in view of the fact that this is very much music of two halves, with the rhythm section at times doing little more than maintaining a groove, as opposed to injecting rhythmic momentum, while that burden falls upon the soloists. This is best exemplified by the second piece, "Children Of Abraham.

If cross-cultural references are relevant here, then "Kiddush, a traditional piece, has an air of Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath in the way its melody is interpreted. This alone suggests that such labelling, while it might indeed be helpful in enabling listeners to gain vicarious knowledge of what the music actually sounds like, is not ultimately in the music's best interests, especially in view of the fact that the Brotherhood Of Breath was a South African-European-West Indian band. Ultimately, though, "Oy Veys Mir is the sound of a hot band eager to lay some music on us, and as a cross-cultural phenomenon, it's second to none.

If there's any justice in the world, this disc will be figuring highly in those year-end polls. It shows the degree to which improvised music can still be creative when a tradition is considered in its entirety, not just as something worthy only of unquestioning reverence.


Track Listing: Light Rolls Away the Darkness; Children of Abraham; The Sun Keeps on Coming Up; Lecha Dodi Twilight; Kiddush; Oy Veys Mir; Adon Olam; One Must Leave So Another Can Come

Personnel: Paul Shapiro: tenor sax, vocals; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet, vocals; Peter Apfelbaum: tenor sax, vocals; Bian Mitchell: piano; Booker King accoustic bass; Tony Lewis: drums.

Title: It's In The Twilight | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Tzadik


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Polygon" CD/LP/Track Review Polygon
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Fractured Pop" CD/LP/Track Review Fractured Pop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 20, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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