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Legendary German jazz and improvising drummer Gunter Baby Sommer's boundless creative sparks and superior technical ability are well-documented. He's a quintessential innovator, largely within the European progressive jazz and avant-garde strata. On Live in Jerusalem, he aligns with an alternating ensemble that ignites a veritable firestorm amid some temperately organized passages.
On "Yo Yo Yo," Sommer's adventurism is prolifically accentuated. Bass clarinetist Yoni Silver's deep intonation and edgy intro is followed by the quartet's' tension-building motifs, firmly nestled within foreboding undercurrents. Here, guitarist Yona Albalak's distortion-laden phrasings and tenor saxophonist Yonatan Kretzmer's chatty and yearning lines help generate a doomsday panorama, while Sommer prods the band via simple 4/4 beats and a pummeling polyrhythmic assault that infuses a dissimilar vibe into sum of the multifarious parts.
The band pushes the envelope, while projecting a mind-opening experience that offers an enigmatic brew consisting of austere persuasions coupled with good-natured fun via freedom of expression.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.