Oz Noy

Alan Bryson By

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As a top session guitarist in his native Israel, Oz Noy was at home playing jazz, blues, funk, and rock. Since emmigrating to the United States in 1996 he has been based in New York City where he has become a regular fixture on the local jazz scene, including his standing gig at the Bitter End. He plays a Stratocaster with a tone, feel, and energy that is likely to appeal to fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, but also with a level of musical sophistication worthy of jazz guitarists like John Scofield and Mike Stern. He considers blues and bebop, "the glue to good music," and his latest release, Twisted Blues Vol. 2 (Abstract Logix, 2013) is an apt description of that musical approach. It is a sonic exercise that flows from the deep reservoir that is the blues, while incorporating plenty of angular and sharp-cornered twists and turns from bebop.

Something is malleable if it can be extended and shaped by hammering and pressure, and in Oz Noy's hands the blues is transmuted into a precious metal that he twists and shapes to fit his demanding artistic vision. On his latest release he is aided by guests who offer an insight into the breadth of his musical friendships and leanings. He enlists the talents of Chick Corea and Allen Toussaint on piano and Rhodes, Will Lee and Roscoe Beck on bass, Dave Weckl and Keith Carlock on drums, Reese Wynans (from Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble) and John Medeski on organ, and fellow guitarists Warren Haynes and Eric Johnson.

This interview took place while he was on a multi state tour with Keith Carlock on drums, and Oteil Burbridge on bass. Although they had all played together in various combinations, this was the first time this trio had played together. Noy talks about his roots, influences, current bandmates, and we preview his latest release.

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