418

Omer Avital: The Ancient Art of Giving

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Omer Avital: The Ancient Art of Giving In a (re)return of the prodigious prodigal son, the Israeli-born and New York City-seasoned Omer Avital is back on the block after extended musical fieldwork in his native land. The Ancient Art of Giving presents the vibrant and eclectic bassist with a host of jazz adepts: Mark Turner (tenor), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Aaron Goldberg (piano) and Ali Jackson (drums), all veterans of and close collaborators in the underground (literally!) scene at Smalls, a "new -breed Mecca under the auspices of the eccentrically avuncular Mitch Borden.

Pressed on the club's in-house label, this disc captures the spirits of the times, rendered through the lens of Avital's decidedly personal artistic aesthetic. Blending the Old World elegance of Spanish classicism with Afro-Arabic modal soul and North American hard-bop, Avital has gleaned a unique sound from these cultural interzones, a sort of "jazz of Gibraltar.

Many of the tunes on the recording employ the descending phrygian cadences associated with Iberian peninsula composers and flamencos (eg. "Homeland, "Ras Abu-Galum and "Shimi's Tune ), along with an ample dose of gospel (thanks to Goldberg's churchy comping) that recalls the Bobby Timmons-era Jazz Messengers.

When simmered in Smalls' subterranean crockpot into the wee hours, these flavors blend in a pungent potpourri, as on "Arrival, where a funky piano intro sets up a two-horn, Blakey-esque head, followed by tandem soloing from Turner and Cohen; or on "Shimi's Tune, where Jackson's rat-a-tat snare drum fusillades sync and swim with Goldberg's facile pianisms. You can just imagine the heads bobbing.

This October, Avital had been in-house at Smalls; on the first Wednesday of the month, he appeared with Cohen (trumpet), Joel Frahm (tenor), Daniel Freedman (drums) and fellow Israeli Omer Klein (piano). The early set featured "Free Forever, "Suite of the East, "Mountain Top, "The Chant and "New Middle East, all well-conceived, memorable tunes with unusual twists and turns that Avital's unmistakable stylistic stamp. Amidst this all-star cast, Klein in particular dazzled with torrents of turbo-charged one-hand "rolls" and tumultuous lyricism.


Track Listing: Homeland; Night Song; Ras Abu-Galum (for Elvin Jones); Arrival; Shimi's Tune; Bass Introduction; Yes!.

Personnel: Omer Avital: bass; Mark Turner: tenor sax; Avishai Cohen: trumpet; Aaron Goldberg: piano; Ali Jackson: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "La Chanson Francaise" CD/LP/Track Review La Chanson Francaise
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review After Dark
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!