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Album Review

Omer Klein, Haggai Cohen Milo, Air Bresler: Life & Fire


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Omer Klein, Haggai Cohen Milo, Air Bresler: Life & Fire
If you're going to release an album to celebrate 10 years as a trio, then here is a fun way to do it. Invite your friends and family to the studio, sharing the experience and bringing a celebratory mood to the recording, it's an anniversary party after all. Omer Klein grew up in Israel, moving to the US in his early twenties, and is in 2023 resident in Germany. He is considered a major artist in Israel and has won the German equivalent of a Grammy. Klein together with his trio partners, bassist Haggai Cohen Milo and drummer Amir Bresler have released four albums over the last 10 years and Life & Fire serves to both signal the decade and look to the future.

The piano on the opening track "The Ravens" sets the scene with impeccable control and speed as Klein searches out new aspects of the melody. The precision of the musical timing throughout reflects the trio's years of playing together but allows a freedom and outward looseness in the arrangements. The music often has threads of traditional folk music. "Niggun" is a traditional Jewish tune and "Tzuri" has influences from klezmer and is dedicated to Klein's late grandfather. Klein's playing can turn the corner from melancholy to swing almost instantly. His improvisations and fluid runs continually explore and skip their way around, often going back and turning around again. "3/4 Mantra" twists and turns at a terrific pace. The timing changes to 5/8 for "Cantando," a catchy Latin-infused tune.

Cohen-Milo and Bresler share equal billing on the album cover and their playing is consistently excellent through the nine tracks. Most notably on one of the album highlights, "One Step at a Time," this starts off at a melancholic pace before they move the rhythm up almost imperceptibly and we are soon into fast swirling, darting piano improvisation together with refined bass and drum breaks.

There are nine songs here, all Klein compositions. The sound of the musicians calling to each other can be heard, this may annoy some but it's obvious they're having fun. Overall there's an infectious and celebratory mood to this fluid set. This high-energy trio are reveling in the present whilst putting down a marker for their achievements to date and looking forward to the future. The 20-year anniversary should be some party.

Track Listing

The Ravens; Song #2; 3/4 Mantra; Tzuri; Cantando; One Step at a Time; Niggun; Spilt Milk; Malchut.


Omer Klein: piano; Haggai Cohen Milo: bass; Amir Bresler: drums.

Album information

Title: Life & Fire | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Warner Music

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