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Thomas Heberer / Yoni Kretzmer / Christian Weber: Big

Read "Big" reviewed by John Sharpe

On a preliminary scan of the album sleeve, the instrumentation suggests chamber jazz, while the collective genesis of the six pieces suggests free jazz or free improv. But that tells only part of the story. In fact what German-born, NYC-based trumpeter Thomas Heberer (Nu Band, ICP Orchestra), Israeli saxophonist now resident in Brooklyn Yoni Kretzmer (Outnow label boss, 2 Bass Quartet, Five) and Swiss bassist Christian Weber (Michael Wollny, Lisa Allemano) demonstrate is a keenly honed unity of purpose which ...

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Yoni Kretzmer's New Dilemma: Months, Weeks and Days

Read "Months, Weeks and Days" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer is not one to rest on his laurels or pursue straight and narrow musical paths as his discography consists of various ensemble configurations and objectives. With this hybrid chamber jazz and improvisation-based sextet, the musicians interpret the leader's compositions, structures and outlines via improvisational means. The ensemble delves into the experimental scheme of things, although these pieces do project semi-structured vibes, topped with gradual buildups, streaming strings passages and elongated unison choruses. Along with ...

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Yoni Kretzmer / Jason Ajemian / Kevin Shea: Until Your Throat Is Dry

Read "Until Your Throat Is Dry" reviewed by John Sharpe

Israeli-born, NYC-based tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer convenes a co-operative trio on Until Your Throat Is Dry, released on his own OutNow imprint. Completing the line up are drummer Kevin Shea, best known for his role in the stylistically promiscuous Mostly Other People Do The Killing and the anarchic Talibam!, and bassist Jason Ajemian, from Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra and Chicago Underground Trio. Across four collective constructs their modus operandi touches on both free jazz and free improv, shifting organically ...

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Yoni Kretzmer: Five

Read "Five" reviewed by John Sharpe

NYC-based Israeli saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer has pulled together a dynamite cast for the debut of his quintet. Kretzmer's thoughtfully arranged compositions engender classic small group free jazz by what comes across as a little big band. It's the sort of session you might have found on the Black Saint label in its heyday, but given a twist of contemporary attitude. Kretzmer makes full use of his crew, not only as adventurous soloists, but also as seasoned ensemble players able to ...

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Yoni Kretzmer 2 Bass Quartet: Book II

Read "Book II" reviewed by John Sharpe

One of the major innovations of the 1960s New Thing was to liberate the so called rhythm section from time keeping duties. The role of the bass in particular was transformed, allowing it leeway to sit alongside the front line. But there was still sometimes a need to impart momentum. One solution was to double up, a gambit first utilized in Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1960), but then elsewhere such as John Coltrane's sessions for Africa/Brass (Impulse!, 1961) and ...

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Yoni Kretzmer: This Is Our Very First Album Together

Read "This Is Our Very First Album Together" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Distinguished Israeli improvising, avant-jazz saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer has several albums to his credit with fellow countrymen and American notables, such as drummers Mike Pride, Andrew Drury and bassist Jason Ajemian. Since he's recently moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., the artist ingratiates his faculties into the region's intensely fertile improvising scene, where almost anything goes when the studio tapes roll. The album moniker is rather humorously integrated into the actual song titles on a per-track basis, but the trio's focus ...

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EFT: Spatial Awareness

Read "Spatial Awareness" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

The third album of the Israeli Electro Free Trio--EFT--marks the constant evolution of this working band. This powerful outfit always searched for ways to blend on-the-spot free improvisation strategies with live electronics, noise and metal but now has reached a balanced interplay that stresses the original, constant-evolving voices of each of the musicians--guitarist Ido Bukelman, in his many solo projects, drummer Ofer Bymel, the drummer of choice of countless local experimental outfits, and electronics wizard Daniel Davidovsky, who keeps expanding ...

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Alex Weiss: Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis

Read "Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Saxophonist Alex Ward's musical journey so far reflects his restful musical personality. He studied music in Boston, then relocated to San Francisco where he studied with Roberto DeHaven, the minister and musician of Saint John's Orthodox Church, better known as the John Coltrane Church. In the Bay Area he collaborated with innovative improvisers as saxophonist Glenn Spearman, Wadada Leo Smith, and Bertram Turetzky. Then he continued to Denmark where he performed with John Tchicai and later moved to Madrid, Spain. ...

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Hans Tammen / Denman Maroney: Arson

Read "Arson" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Hyper-pianist Denman Maroney, known for his ongoing collaborations featuring double bass master Mark Dresser with the experimental sound artist and conceptual explorer of the so- called “endangered guitar" Hans Tammen, have been working together since 1998 as a duo and in other formations. Unfortunately, until now the innovative work of this unique duo was documented only on their only album, Billabong (Potlatch, 1999}. Arson , recorded in Brooklyn during June 2012, features the highly sophisticated musical ...

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Yoni Kretzmer 66 Boxes: Graceless

Read "Graceless" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Israeli, New York-based tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer returns on Graceless to an old passion of his--writing music that attempts to bridge the forward-thinking jazz from the school of sax heroes Tim Berne, Ellery Eskelin, and European jazz with elements from contemporary chamber music. Kretzmer's debut album as a leader, Yoni Kretzmer's New Dilemma (Earsay, 2009) focused on the same idea, but now with a better and varied experience and is accompanied by resourceful and opinionated musicians, he comes closer to ...

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Ido Bukelman / Daniel Davidovsky / Ofer Bymel: EFT II

Read "EFT II" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

The sophomore release of the Israeli Electro Free Trio--EFT-- continues where the impressive debut (OutNow Recordings, 2011) stopped. An aggressive and experimental hybridization of spontaneous, free improvised approaches, real-time electronics who draw inspiration from noise and industrial music, all spiced with references to progressive and metal rock. This tough blend of sounds was solidified in many live gigs during the last year. Now guitarist Ido Bukelman is the dominant player in the trio. He sketches the loose ...

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Maroney / Ilgenfritz / Niescier / Drury: Mind Games

Read "Mind Games" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

This quartet blurs the borders between orthodox and unorthodox forms of playing, between cerebral, intriguing music making and playful, harmonic articulations, and between sonic explorations of timbral variations, colors and shades, and organic, fluid textures. All these contradictions are blended into a mysterious kaleidoscope of nuanced details, a musical universe of a unique quartet with a highly distinctive voice and identity. The four musicians are known for their left-off-center attitudes and expanded musical lexicons. Pianist Denman Maroney ...