4

Amos Hoffman & Noam Lemish: Pardes

Rob Rosenblum By

Sign in to view read count
Amos Hoffman and Noam Lemish are among a wave of jazz musicians that has emerged from Israel in the last ten years. The success of bassist Avishai Cohen and his sister, clarinetist Anat Cohen and guitarist Gilad Heckselman has caught the attention of jazz fans around the world.

Hoffman, now a resident of Columbia, South Carolina and Lemish, who hails from Toronto, Canada, have joined forces to not only display their considerable talents, but to run the music of the Middle East through the jazz ringer. They combine the better elements of both into a fairly comfortable stew. Hoffman's use of the oud—an instrument common in Eastern music, but virtually unknown to jazz—adds to the flavor, as does the clarinet stylings of Jacob Gorzhaltsan on "Aji Tu, Yorma Aji" and Pedram Khavarzamini on tombak (a percussion instrument common in Iran) on three songs.

Both Hoffman and Lemish are highly talented melodic improvisers, and this album may represent their best recorded effort to date. Hoffman had a couple impressive outings with Avishai Cohen, but this is an opportunity to hear him as a featured artist and it is a welcome addition to his resume.

The purpose of the group is to introduce listeners to the compositions of Jewish composers from around the world. There are ten selections, all lasting between two and a half minutes to six minutes. While the listener doesn't get a deep dive into the music, the artists comfortably fit the Eastern melodies into a jazz framework and manage to shake loose from the kind of rhythmic and harmonic limitations of the songs. There is a definite minor key mournfulness in many of the tunes, but Hoffman and Lemish explore them sufficiently to leave the listener wanting more and knowing they can probably go a lot further if they allowed themselves to stretch out more.

The co-leaders are the main focus of the album, but bassist Justin Gray and percussionist Derek Gray offer solid and reliable support. Many of the rhythms are somewhat angular and keeping things swinging is no small accomplishment.

Hoffman is an agile performer, although his technical brilliance is often hidden here in deference to the melodies. However, "Harbi Meir" gives a taste of his virtuosity as does the hard swinging "Tchol Hamitpachat." Lemish appears to be an admirer of Chick Corea, and his melodic playfulness comes out in all his solos. He doesn't stray far from the melodies and his expositions are very listenable. "At Telchi Basade" best highlights his delightfully light hearted swinging.

Jazz has pretty much ignored music from the Middle East, but it obviously has a rich tradition just waiting to be embraced by jazz musicians. This album does a good job of demonstrating that and hopefully will also bring much deserved attention to Hoffman and Lemish.

Track Listing: Adon Haslichot; At Telchi Basade; Dror Yikra; Eshal Elohay; Dalale Dalale; Äji Tü Yormä Äji; Harbi Meir; Argaman; Tchol Hamitpachat; Ets Harimon.

Personnel: Amos Hoffman: guitar & oud; Noam Lemish: piano; Justin Gray: bass; Derek Gray: drums & percussion; Pedram Khavarzamini: tombak; Jacob Gorzhaltsan: clarinet.

Title: Pardes | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Adon Haslichot

Adon Haslichot

Amos Hoffman & Noam Lemish
Pardes

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Pardes

Pardes

Self Produced
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019