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Omer Avital Qantar Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

Read "Omer Avital Qantar Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam" reviewed by BIMHUIS

Qantar is the new quintet of composer and double bassist Omer Avital, who is known to lead his bands with such fervor that Downbeat has already compared him to the legendary Charles Mingus. In his music Omer Avital plays a captivating blend of jazz and middle-eastern influences, drawing from his Jewish and Arabic heritage. The result is an urban mixture of cultures, from eastern melodies to intoxicating North African desert blues. Omer Avital is part of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Omer Avital: Free Forever

Read "Omer Avital: Free Forever" reviewed by Charles Walker

Omer AvitalFree ForeverSmalls Records2011 Bassist Omer Avital is not a household name. Despite a surge of media coverage about the rise of Israeli expats on the New York jazz scene, despite playing a central role in a variety of ensembles at the now-beloved Smalls jazz club, and despite appearing on several dozen recordings, Avital's name continues to register as little more than a faint echo in the background of the jazz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital: Arrival

Read "Arrival" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Though the picture on this disc's cover might bring to mind some kind of 1970s folk-rock star, the music inside has nothing to do with that. The Israeli-born bassist weaves through a variety of feels, from simple funky beats to more complex rhythmical patterns with some Latin-inspired moments in between. On “Big Time, Avital begins with a heavily syncopated bass line for his sextet to follow, the piece running just under four minutes in a showcase for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital Group: Room To Grow

Read "Room To Grow" reviewed by J Hunter

In 1996, the Omer Avital Group was in transition. Due to their increasing workload outside the band, Avital was forced to replace original members Ali Jackson and Mark Turner. Losing musicians of that quality would have crippled other groups; but if Room To Grow (recorded live at Smalls the following year) is any indication, the band didn't miss a beat when drummer Joe Strasser and tenor player Grant Stewart took their places.

Room To Grow has only three tracks--one original ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital Group: Room to Grow

Read "Room to Grow" reviewed by Tom Greenland

Opening with the soul-full call of the acoustic bass, Omer Avital's Room to Grow speaks from and to the heart with the very first note. Recorded live in early 1997, the album is the second in a series on Smalls Records documenting the bassist's growth as an instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandleader. Like its predecessor, Asking No Permission, Room features a four-saxophone sextet, retaining the services of Greg Tardy (tenor) and Myron Walden (alto) from the original group, with additional ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital Group: Room to Grow

Read "Room to Grow" reviewed by Jim Santella

Recorded 1997 at Smalls in New York, this session maintains the growth that was spawned by the late John Coltrane thirty to forty years earlier. Along with the traditional elements that made their way into jazz from European classical music, Omer Avital's ensembles add Middle Eastern ties that broaden the harmonic horizon and create fresh new attire. Theirs is an exciting adventure that merely evolves from the roots of the master.

The combination of four saxophones with bass ...


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