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Shalosh: Tales of Utopia

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Shalosh: Tales of Utopia
If we are the sum of the stories we riff to ourselves then podcast to others, then Tales of Utopia is a grand narrative by the Israeli trio of pianist/keyboardist Gadi Stern, double bassist David Michaeli and drummer Matan Assayag.

Tales of Utopia, like the young, agile trio's 2020 album Broken Balance (ACT Records), doesn't break any new ground as far as piano trios go, but it sure sounds good and captures one's immediate attention. Exhibiting influences as far flung as prog-rock to their Middle Eastern roots, the trio's collaborative story moves with a distinguished and dexterous fury. Swooping in and rushing towards the fire, "Views of the Road in Crimson Red" takes the listener on a joy ride of intuitive motion. The title kick off track rolls and roils rhapsodically to its quiet finish.

The pensive beginning of "Entrance to the Great City" opens out into a kaleidoscopic visage of all the city has to offer: blues, rock, rhythm, and jazz. Stern holds sway on most of the tracks, but that in no way means to imply that Michaeli, a confident bassist, as sure of his depth and imaginings as Assayag is of his own, holds the course until they veer left or right or barrel down the untrodden path. It all depends on the story being told at the moment.

Recorded live in three studio sessions in Tel Aviv earlier this year, Tales of Utopia also includes the quietly triumphant "Three Sisters," the darkly American spy show theme, "The Advisor," and the truly exultant "Wedding Song," wherein after a fun filled, capering folk dance, Gadi, Michaeli and Assayag are joined in with familial laughter, chanting, and hand clapping. Tales of Utopia proves our chronicles needn't be locked into pathos or be slaves to the times we inhabit. A lot of them can have a happy endings. A lot of them can bring us closer to understanding the common ground we all walk.

Track Listing

Tales of Utopia; Entrance to the Great City; King’s Dream Pt. I; Views of Road in Crimson Red; Three Sisters; The Advisor; King’s Dream Pt. II; The Market; Wave; Wedding Song.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Tales of Utopia | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: ACT Music

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