All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

19

Oded Tzur: Translator's Note

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
If music has the potential to tell stories, saxophonist Oded Tzur proves himself one of the jazz world's premier storytellers on Translator's Note. "Single Mother," the tune that opens the set, is a vibrant novelette, haunting and atmospheric, riding on the undertones of Indian classical music—a winding tale that gathers intensity and momentum, a sculpting of sounds that is by turns exotically lovely and searingly anguished.

Schooled in a myriad of musical styles, the supremely cohesive set is a striking hybridization of the American jazz form, Middle Eastern modalities, Indian rhythmic concepts and Tzur's incorporation of microtones, in the embrace of superbly synchronized quartet. It is a disc that would fit in well with the ECM Records sound.

"Welcome" is a beautiful rollick, and "The Whale Song," paired with Tzur's eloquent liner notes on the theme, sounds like a a sonic cross between the biblical mysticism and Gabriel Garcia Marquez' magical realism. Here—and everywhere else on the set—Tzur's tenor sax sounds like almost any reed instrument except the tenor sax: bass flute, bass clarinet, oboe. And his quartet, a standard line-up with the sax joined by a piano/bass/drums rhythm section, sounds unlike  any other quartet out there: nuanced and empathic, occasionally frolicsome and always gorgeously unorthodox with it's mix of influences.

"The Three Statements Of Garab Dorje" glides like a monorail on magnetic suspension, Tzur smoldering, and John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament," the disc's only non-Tzur original, closes the show on what seems a deep rumination on supernatural matters and ghostly apparitions.

Of special note: pianist Shai Maestro's extended  step out front—wrapped in drummer Ziv Ravitz percussive poetry and bassist Petros Klampanis' warm, human heartbeat—on the thirteen minute "Single Mother" begins as an ode to introspection and gathers into one of most joyous and intoxicating pieces of piano artistry on record  this year, a story within a story.   

Track Listing: Single Mother; Welcome; The Whale Song, The Three Statements of Garab Dorje; Lonnie's Lament.

Personnel: Oded Tzur: tenor saxophone; Shai Maestro: piano; Petros Klampanis: bass; Ziv Ravitz: drums.

Title: Translator's Note | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ENJA - Yellowbird

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Mixcloud
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Translator's Note

Translator's Note

ENJA - Yellowbird
2017

buy
Like a Great River

Like a Great River

ENJA - Yellowbird
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Home Boy, Sister Out CD/LP/Track Review
Home Boy, Sister Out
by Chris May
Published: July 22, 2018
Read Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2018
Read A History Of Nothing CD/LP/Track Review
A History Of Nothing
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 21, 2018
Read Turbamulta CD/LP/Track Review
Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read 3 CD/LP/Track Review
3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read "Kavuma" CD/LP/Track Review Kavuma
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "For the Love of You" CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Love & Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Toy Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review Toy Tunes
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "Plays Dutch Originals" CD/LP/Track Review Plays Dutch Originals
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "Picking Up Steam" CD/LP/Track Review Picking Up Steam
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: May 12, 2018