Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

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

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Adon Haslichot

Adon Haslichot

Amos Hoffman & Noam Lemish
Pardes

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pardes

Pardes

Self Produced
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Lines in Sand CD/LP/Track Review
Lines in Sand
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2018
Read The Brave CD/LP/Track Review
The Brave
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read "Dystil" CD/LP/Track Review Dystil
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 4, 2018
Read "Christian McBride's New Jawn" CD/LP/Track Review Christian McBride's New Jawn
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 28, 2018
Read "Journey to a New World" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Distant Early Warning" CD/LP/Track Review Distant Early Warning
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 3, 2018
Read "New Beginnings" CD/LP/Track Review New Beginnings
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018