Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

397

Ofer Assaf: Tangible Reality

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Israeli-born, tenor saxophonist Ofer Assaf, who is now New York-based, looks every bit the modern jazz man on the cover of Tangible Reality. He's got the shades, the beret-style hat worn backwards, and—truth in advertising—he's also got the modern jazz man goods.

A big percentage of young mainstream jazz artists try to take the "Miles Davis second great quintet" tangent to make themselves sound cutting edge. Assaf seems more of a mind to craft his own voice, in terms of ensemble sound and his own individual approach to the saxophone.

The leader's "Kingfisher 51" opens the set on an edgy groove, built on Bruce Cox's frenetic drumming. The flame is turned up high, and Assaf sears the air with an incendiary solo leading into trumpeter Jim Rotundi's solo. Rotundi keeps the heat on with his turn, before pianist Theo Hill maintains the high energy atmosphere when the horns back off.

It's mostly a high octane affair, with six of the eight tunes from the leader's pen. The title cut is full of surprises, with Rotundi and Assaf in a contest to see who can walk the higher wire on their solos, with the saxophone growling into a Dewey Redman direction.

Assaf also shows a great respect for the tradition, with a clean, beautiful take on the classic "The Nearness of You." The saxophonist closes with a nod to Coleman Hawkins on the legendary "Body and Soul," taking the classic in the direction of the edge without quite going there, putting his own distinctive stamp on the tune.

The way to break from the pack is by developing one's own voice. Ofer Assaf surges ahead on Tangible Reality.

Track Listing: Kingfisher 51; Tangilble Reality; The Nearness of You; The Archer; Blues for MB; Little Goldmund; Tame the Wild Beast; Body and Soul.

Personnel: Ofer Assaf: tenor saxophone; Jim Rotundi: trumpet (1, 2, 4); Theo Hill: piano; Klaus Mueller: piano (3, 7); Don Pate: bass (3-5, 7, 8); Essiet Essiet: bass (1, 2, 6); Bruce Cox: drums.

Title: Tangible Reality | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "The Rhythm Method" CD/LP/Track Review The Rhythm Method
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Reflections Of A Voice" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections Of A Voice
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!