Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

200

Itai Kriss: The Shark

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
New and/or notable flute voices in jazz don't seem to come around very often. While scores of saxophonists double on this instrument, very few players that enter the jazz trenches are pure flautists, through and through. When a musician makes the decision to focus solely on an instrument like the flute, they might be narrowing their opportunities, but that risk sometimes yields rewards, and this would seem to hold true in the case of flautist Itai Kriss. His choice of instrument, and the distinguished company he keeps, help to make The Shark a buzz-worthy release.

Kriss' New York encounters have dealt with musical and cultural cross-pollination and his experiences informs his writing. He proves to be equally conversant in breezy Brazilian fare ("Breeza") and Cuban numbers with hints of Argentina ("Danzon No. 1"), but his writing isn't limited to Latin America. He tackles swing in a hard-bop vein ("Kamuvan") and gives über-drummer Eric McPherson's right hand a serious, up-tempo workout on "Sketch For Toki." With these tunes, Kriss demonstrates a strong architectural sense for music that comes from fairly traditional sources, but his work doesn't end there either.

His modernist tendencies come out on several notable numbers. "The Gypsy" wanders like its namesake, starting with a simple descending and ascending line from pianist Aaron Goldberg and bassist Omer Avital, moving to haunting night music with slight Hebraic undertones, making an abrupt turn South—via Aaron Goldberg's piano patterns—and ending up in some serious, samba-inflected territory. When trumpeter Avishai Cohen joins Kriss on "Four By Four," both men flutter and flail over a stable rhythm presence as the terrain shifts, allowing the music to come in and out of focus.

Kriss creates variety in other places by overdubbing multiple flute parts ("Chang Chang"), dabbling in odd-metered grooves ("The Shark"), and dealing in funky, reggae-fied jazz of a highly accessible, head-bobbing nature ("Booty Call"). Avital's hip bass lines set the course for the group in all three cases, and McPherson is right there with him, providing the perfect feel for each number.

While the under-the-radar Sababa (Self Produced, 2000) might have marked Kriss' debut as a leader on record, The Shark marks his arrival as a flute force to be reckoned with.

Track Listing: The Shark; Kamuvan; Gypsy; Four By Four; Chang Chang; Breeza; Danzon No. 1; Sketch For Toki; Booty Call.

Personnel: Itai Kriss: flute; Aaron Goldberg: piano; Omer Avital: bass; Eric McPherson: drums; Avishai Cohen: trumpet (4, 9); John Ellis: tenor saxophone (2).

Title: The Shark | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura CD/LP/Track Review
Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read His Flight's At Ten CD/LP/Track Review
His Flight's At Ten
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read First Lines CD/LP/Track Review
First Lines
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read "The French Quarter" CD/LP/Track Review The French Quarter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 7, 2018
Read "Genuinity" CD/LP/Track Review Genuinity
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "Music in Motian" CD/LP/Track Review Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "1538" CD/LP/Track Review 1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "2" CD/LP/Track Review 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Super Mood" CD/LP/Track Review Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018