Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Bones: Reptiles


Bones: Reptiles


Sign in to view read count
Bones: Reptiles
The barely-there pastel-colored turtle adorning the cover of Reptiles gives an elegant visual summary of the skeletal but attractive content inside. It's the third release from a young Israeli trio led by Amsterdam-based bass clarinetist Ziv Taubenfeld, which includes his fellow countrymen bassist Shay Hazan and drummer Nir Sabag. Recorded in November 2017 in Netherlands, the limited edition LP comprises three cuts written by the reedman, one collaborative effort, and three unaccompanied pieces named after the album title.

Taubenfeld possesses a pleasantly hoarse tone on the bass clarinet, as if suffering after one too many nights on the tiles, a feeling reinforced by the vocalized burr he sometimes adds to his softly etched lines. He shares a special bond with Hazan, whose incisive woody bass resonance often intertwines with the bottom end reed. On drums Sabag is restrained but responsive, often comfortable to merely shade the interplay around him.

Each man gets a turn alone on the three variants of the title cut, moving from grave calm to knotty flurries, leavened by emphatic thwacks in Hazan's case on "Reptiles A," slurred pitches and multiphonic hints which lead into some of his most demonstrative playing, placed amid heaps of air by the leader on "Reptiles B," and a barebones beat which transforms into a polyrhythmic tattoo on Sabag's "Reptiles C."

They carry the pared back concept through from the instrumentation into the music, leaving generous space, even when they are at their busiest, as on "Book." Here the writing isn't explicit on a track where bubbling bass clarinet joins flinty bass and lightly clattering drums in group exchange, before developing into an unhurried conversational duet with Hazan's contrapuntal picking. Elsewhere Taubenfeld's charts manifest in simple phrases, as on "Moondoctor," where he skirts lugubriously around a muscular bass riff, before a loose pulse morphs into a swinging vamp which he garrulously embroiders.

The harmonious pairing of woodwind and strings also dominates on the collective "Drops," culminating in a welter of wiry arco harmonic oscillations against gently wickering reeds. Sabag gets to press his foot to the floor on the concluding "Water." It starts with Tabuenfeld's frayed repetitions over a recycled pizzicato figure, before he waxes loquacious and excitable over the rhythmic churn, only for the energy to dissolve into raspy sawing and subdued murmuring.

It all hangs together well, and the trio's relaxed approach makes for an engaging listen.

Track Listing

Moondoctor; Reptiles A; Book; Reptiles B; Drops; Reptiles C; Water.


Ziv Taubenfeld
clarinet, bass
Additional Instrumentation

Nir Sabag: drums.

Album information

Title: Reptiles | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Whisper Not
Paul Kendall
Duo Work
Sam Newsome
Blue Topaz
Peter Hand


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.