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Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet at Duncairn Arts Centre

Read "Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet at Duncairn Arts Centre" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet Duncairn Arts Centre jny:Belfast, N. Ireland March 22, 2018 Coming so soon after Belfast's annual jazz festival, Brilliant Corners, the appearance of Sirkis/Bialas IQ at Duncairn Arts Centre was a real treat for jazz fans. Better still, the concert was free, sponsored as it was by the Institute for Conflict Research. Since 1996 the non-profit ICR, which is based in Belfast, has worked with community groups in a host of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Asaf Sirkis Trio: Shepherd's Stories

Read "Asaf Sirkis Trio: Shepherd's Stories" reviewed by John Kelman

It's getting to the point where it's almost impossible to pigeonhole an artist into any one category---and that can't be anything but a good thing. Sure, some people like to think of the artists they love as jazz, rock or classical musicians, but the truth is that, more and more, musicians simply want to be thought of as people who play music. Still, there's an intrinsic need to categorize music, if for no other reason than to help provide some ...

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Asaf Sirkis Trio: Shepherd's Stories

Read "Shepherd's Stories" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Maybe it's the unfashionably hot weather that's hit the UK in recent summers, but there's something almost cheery about drummer Asaf Sirkis' Shepherd Stories. Sirkis' church organ/guitar based Inner Noise recordings wove a jazz-gothic tale, while The Monk (SAM Productions, 2008)--with guitarist Tassos Spiliotopoulos and bassist Yaron Stavi--balanced tantalizingly between pretty melancholy and a slightly dark aesthetic. That said, a lyrical vein has always permeated Sirkis' music Letting Go (Stonebird Productions, 2010) signaled the trio's move toward less introspective and ...

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Asaf Sirkis: Letting Go

Read "Letting Go" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The quiet evolution of drummer Asaf Sirkis as a composer has been fascinating to behold and almost as beguiling as his playing. The confluence of influences that give shape to his rhythms--Middle Eastern, Indian and jazz--combined with a love of Sun Ra's music and an interest in astronomy, results in music which is difficult to pin down, yet which is undeniably hypnotic, in a slightly dark and brooding manner. Where Letting Go differs fromThe Monk (SAM, 2008) is in the ...

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Take Five With Asaf Sirkis

Read "Take Five With Asaf Sirkis" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Asaf Sirkis:Born in 1969 in Petah-Tikva, Israel, Asaf later moved to the town of Rehovot, where he spent his teens and early twenties. This was an influential move for Asaf, as it was here amongst the diverse cultural influences he found in Rehovot that Asaf began to show an interest in music and rhythm. In Rehovot he lived amongst people from North Africa, east and central Europe, and the Middle East. Living in Shaarayim, the Yemenite neighbourhood ...

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Asaf Sirkis Trio: The Monk

Read "The Monk" reviewed by Ian Patterson

One thing that has perhaps been understated in some quarters when considering drummer Asaf Sirkis' recordings as a leader is just how lyrical and understated his music tends to be. The Inner Noise recordings, which aligned drums and guitar with church organ, drew almost as much attention for the unorthodox nature of the trio as they did for the music itself, which is as subtle as it is expansive. It is also quietly melodic and vaguely uneasy at the same ...

INTERVIEWS

Asaf Sirkis: The Endless Realm

Read "Asaf Sirkis: The Endless Realm" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Since arriving in London from Israel at the end of the end of the '90s, Asaf Sirkis has earned a reputation as one of the world's premier drummers. His scintillating stick work has sparked saxophonist Gilad Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble since its inception, as well as coloring the projects of saxophonist Tim Garland in recent years.Yet this sensitive, cerebral drummer, who has drawn favorable comparison to legends Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette, is not easy to pigeonhole. His ...

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Asaf Sirkis Trio: The Monk

Read "The Monk" reviewed by John Kelman

After exploring an organ/guitar/drums encounter of the most unusual kind with The Inner Noise on albums including We Are Falling (Konnex, 2005) and The Song Within (SAM, 2007), Israeli-born, British-resident drummer Asaf Sirkis turns, on the surface, to a more conventional line-up with The Monk. Still, Sirkis' writing, and a trio that eschews orthodoxy, keeps The Monk in line with the distinctive voice of Inner Noise. “Stoned Bird" opens the disc with harmonic ambiguity, driven by Greek guitarist ...

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Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise: The Song Within

Read "The Song Within" reviewed by Troy Collins

UK-based, Israeli-born drummer Asaf Sirkis has maintained his current trio, The Inner Noise, with church organist/keyboardist Steve Lodder and guitarist Mike Outram, since 2002. The Song Within is their third recording together.

Inspired in part by the organ music of composer Oliver Messiaen and Maurice Durufle, Sirkis' writing resonates with a rich spiritual lyricism that rises to levels of kinetic fury commonly embraced by fusion ensembles.

Drawing from classic jazz fusion innovators like guitarist ...

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Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise: The Song Within

Read "The Song Within" reviewed by John Kelman

If Olivier Messiaen had written music with a pulse, it might have sounded something like Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise. The Israeli-born, UK-based drummer has been honing a personal vision with this trio for over five years, and The Song Within is the group's best disc yet. Sirkis has retained a consistent line-up--church organist/keyboardist Steve Lodder and guitarist Mike Outram--from inception (a rare feat in itself), and this third release further solidifies its already distinctive approach. This ...

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Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise: We Are Falling

Read "We Are Falling" reviewed by John Kelman

Israeli ex-pat Asaf Sirkis has been gradually insinuating himself into the UK scene since moving to London in 1999. His most visible work to date has been with the controversial saxophonist Gilad Atzmon's Oriental House Ensemble where, in addition to playing drums, he's been able to take advantage of his background in ethnic percussion instruments. His broad orchestral approach to kit and hand percussion may, however, be best heard on woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland's sweeping and ambitious If the Sea ...