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David Buchbinder: Odessa/Havana

Dan McClenaghan By

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Two distinct and seemingly very different musical galaxies spin into each other on trumpeter David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana, setting off a gravitational push-and-pull of musical momentums. It's a Cuban/Klezmer blend that stirs up the best of both musical styles—the churning, bubbling, rhythms of the mambo and the rubbery freewheeling exuberance of traditional Jewish sounds.

Canadian trumpeter/composer/band leader David Buchbinder, who leads the Juno-nominated Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, joins forces with pianist Hilario Duran, who did a nine year stint with Arturo Sandoval, on this stimulating multi-cultural outing. The ensemble sound has a sinewy richness—violin and clarinet, trumpet and oud and piano, underlain by the sometimes simmering, often boiling percussion.

The Buchbinder-penned opener, "Lailadance," contains a bunch of bravura blowing, and a gorgeous piano solo by Duran. Duran's "Impressiones turns the heat up, sounding like a mini-big band, with violinist Aleksander Gajic spearing sharp lines into the flow, and multiple reedist Quinsin Nachoff injecting an element of danger to the mix with his searing tenor sax solo.

Buchbinder's "Cadiz" turns the heat down in the beginning, opening up as a melancholy lament that swells to a riotous frenzy. Duran's "Next One Rising" opens on a mellifluous groove, with Nachoff's dark wood rumination leading into Duran's bubbling fountain piano solo.

The back-and-forth between the Buchbinder and Duran-penned tunes, the ebb and flow between Jewish and Cuban and the inevitable mix of the two musical cultures, the swirling reed/trumpet/string mix blowing and bowing over the beautiful clutter of percussion, makes for a uniquely uplifting listening experience.

Track Listing: Lailadance; Impresiones; Cadiz; Next One Rising; Rumba Judia; Prayer; Colaboracion; Freylekhs Tumbao.

Personnel: David Buchbinder: trumpet; Hilario Duran: piano; Qunsin Nachoff: reeds, flute; Aleksander Gajic: violin; Luis Guerra: piano; Mark Kelso: drums; Rick Shadrach: percussion; Dafnis Prieto: drums; Jorges Luis "Papiosco" Torres: percussion; John Gzowski: oud; Roberto Occhipinti: bass.

Title: Odessa/Havana | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Tzadik

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