Articles | Popular | Future

IN PICTURES
RADIO

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital: The Ancient Art of Giving

Read "The Ancient Art of Giving" reviewed by Tom Greenland

In a (re)return of the prodigious prodigal son, the Israeli-born and New York City-seasoned Omer Avital is back on the block after extended musical fieldwork in his native land. The Ancient Art of Giving presents the vibrant and eclectic bassist with a host of jazz adepts: Mark Turner (tenor), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Aaron Goldberg (piano) and Ali Jackson (drums), all veterans of and close collaborators in the underground (literally!) scene at Smalls, a “new -breed Mecca under the auspices of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital: The Ancient Art of Giving

Read "The Ancient Art of Giving" reviewed by Jim Santella

In a live appearance at Fat Cat in New York, Omer Avital's quintet interprets seven of the bassist's compositions with emotions bared and a collective sigh for the program's connection to tradition. Echoes of Israel combine with a hard bop New York feeling to marry modern jazz with the past.

Trumpeter Avishai Cohen and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner carry the quintet's front line with suave tones and comfortable harmonies. Pianist Aaron Goldberg sparkles with uplifting cascades, while drummer ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Omer Avital Group: Asking No Permission

Read "Asking No Permission" reviewed by Brian P. Lonergan

The Omer Avital Group was a mainstay at New York's Smalls club in the mid '90s. An unfortunate turn of events with record companies suppressed the bassist/composer's major label debut, and in recent years Avital has spent more time working and studying in his native Israel. But with the release of Asking No Permission and a recent series of Greenwich Village gigs, including a near-magical set at the Fat Cat in mid-January, New York's jazz scene is once again abuzz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Omer Avital Group: Asking No Permission

Read "Asking No Permission" reviewed by Paul Olson

Omer Avital's new release, Asking No Permission, isn't actually new at all. Rather, it's the first of the projected four-disc series The Smalls Years, presenting live performances of bassist/composer Omer Avital's group at the West Village Smalls nightclub in 1996-97. It's not unheard of for a label to release archival live performances simply because, well, they've got the tapes and they might as well--but this previously unreleased set of seven tunes, recorded on one Thursday night in April of 1996, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Omer Avital Group: Asking No Permission

Read "Asking No Permission" reviewed by Jim Santella

In a live 1996 session at Smalls in New York, Omer Avital leads this stellar sextet through a program of six originals and one standard. Nothing is standard, however, about the way this double bassist interprets modern jazz.

A “young lion on the New York jazz scene, Avital was born in Israel. He studied classical guitar at the Givataim Conservatory and switched to acoustic bass at Talma Yalin, Israel's leading high school for the arts. In his early ...


Shop for Music

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