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Meet Eyal Hareuveni

Meet Eyal Hareuveni
AAJ Staff By

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I currently live in: Jerusalem, Israel

I joined All About Jazz in: 2004

What made you decide to contribute to All About Jazz? At first, All About Jazz provided me a way to express my thoughts, insights and feelings about certain albums that I was listening to, and shared with other friends, online and in private talks. Later I found out that that through All about Jazz I coud get to know some of my favorite musicians, get more music, and ultimately attempt to make the music and the musicians more accessible to larger audiences.

How do you contribute to All About Jazz? I write album reviews, mostly about new releases, but occasionally cover DVD's, concerts, books and interviews. I tend to focus on European jazz, free jazz and improvised music, with a strong focus on the Scandinavian jazz.

What is your musical background? Nothing formal. I attempted to study playing the guitar and later the double bass but I haven't met any reasonable standards. But since the early seventies I have listened to tons of music, read volumes about music and some of my best friends are musicians.

What was the first record you bought that you would still listen to today? Mostly ECM's records. In the seventies when I began to listen to jazz music, ECM had a much superior distribution in Israel than any American label, so the albums of Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek and Pat Metheny are the ones that I still have, especially Garbarek's Dis and Eventyr.

What type of jazz do you enjoy listening to the most? I love jazz, and even more any kind of music with strong improvised backbone, because such music challenges the system, never surrenders to musical conventions or artistic hierarchies and even common political beliefs, and at best has a rebellious spirit. This is music that asks questions more than having definite answers, that sees the process of making music as important as the end result.

Aside from jazz, what styles of music do you enjoy? It varies, and depends on the mood, season and place. Can be singer-songwriters (right now Anaïs Mitchell, Erin McKeown, LeE HARVeY OsMond, Stephen Fearing, Rokia Traoré and always Greg Brown and Richard Thompson), Alternative rock (Chelsea Light Moving, Mariam The Believer, Wilco) or world music (Kayhan Kalhor, Mahsa Vahdat) and many more.

What are you listening to right now? Peter Brötzmann box-set Long Story Short, together with the DVD Concert for Fukushima Wels 2011, the last releases of Assif Tsahar's hopscotch label, Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra, Ken Vandermark's Made to Breakreleases on Clean Feed.

Which five recent releases would you recommend to readers who share your musical taste? Lisa Ullén / Nina de Heney / Okkyung LeeLook Right (LJ Records)
KAZETornado (Circum Disc, upcoming)
Fire! Orchestra—Exit! (Rune Grammofon)
Hans Koch, Martin Schatz & Fredy Studer with Shelley HirschWalking And Stumbling Through Your Sleep (Intakt)
Møster!—Edvard Lygre Møster (Hubro music)

What inspired you to write about jazz? It goes back to my answer about the type of jazz that I'm listening to. As one who lives in a divided city, where the possibilities of reaching a peaceful political solution in the near future look far fetched, this kind of music brings a lot of comfort. Hope that there are other comrades, co-conspirators, who share the same belief that music and art can make this world a better place.

What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies? I read a lot, try to keep a challenging routine of running in the uphill scenery of Jerusalem and take part as much as I can in political actions, mostly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

What role does jazz music play in your life? Music, and not only jazz, is a big part of my life. I listen to music when I wake up, when I walk, when I travel, in the morning, evening, and at night. When the music will stop, paraphrasing Jim Morrison, I'll turn off the lights.

How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself? Hopefully, it makes the music more accessible, introduces it to larger audiences, and obviously, supports the musicians and their artistic activity.

What do you like most about All About Jazz? The freedom to write about the kind of music that I think is right for the website. The ability to give equal opportunities to new musicians from almost anywhere in the world, who don't enjoy the support of larger, established labels. All About Jazz's success contributes to making the jazz and improvised music scenes more democratic and open.

What positives have come from your association with All About Jazz? Knowing musicians, getting a lot of excellent music and once in a blue moon getting an invitation to a jazz festival. Last summer I was invited to the great Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway and had one of my best musical experiences ever. And of course, always expanding my knowledge about music.

Eyal Hareuveni at All About Jazz


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