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Live at Smalls
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Top customer reviews
on January 12, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This set by Israeli born acoustic bassist Omer Avital is part of the Live at Smalls series of concert releases that have recently been made available to the record buying public with many other great releases. This album features all original music written by Omer Avital. Omer is playing with a crack band of young rising stars from the NYC jazz scene. Avishai Cohen on trumpet a long time partner of Avital is sounding great. Jason Linder on piano has a funky touch with nice power & soulful groove. Joel Frahm on tenor sax a NYC vet is not as well known as someone like Chris Potter but in my opinion in the same league. On drums is one of my favorites Philly native Johnanthan Blake. The band has very good chemistry due to the fact that they have been working with Avital now for the last five years or so,this same group appears on the Avital studio album Arrival. The music is a neat blend of funky grooves with jazz harmonic structures along with touches of Avital's Middle Eastern homeland. The set starts out with Avital's tune Theme From a Brighter Future, a slow contemplative groove is established by bass,piano & drums while trumpeter Avishai Cohen states the lyrical melody with Joel Frahm adding harmonic counter lines. This is a really great melody with a beautiful blues R&B vibe & Cohen delivers it perfectly while Joel Frahm is making sanctified exchanges behind him. Pianist Jason Linder a NYC native & jazz vet plays beautifully throughout the entire album starting off on the first tune with a funky but at the same time beautiful solo in a monk sort of way. The second tune Magic Carpet has a really cool eastern ethnic flavor and a funky world beat bass groove that Avital lays down while singing wordless in unison along with his bass, those listeners familiar with the Weather Report tune Black Market will possibly recognize this groove because to my ears they're very similar, Johnathan Blake lays down some very cool beats during the coarse of this magic carpet ride. The third tune entitled One is a grooving medium tempo piece built around Avital's bass ostinato which is doubled by Linder's left hand. Johnathan Blake takes a great drum solo on track three. Track four is entitled bass introduction to The Anthem of Life & this is Omer Avital's solo bass feature, Omer has warm tone with a slight tang. Omer's playing sometimes reminds me of Charlie Haden or Mingus. In my opinion this sound is very accessible and I recommend this fantastic album to fans of Avishai Cohen the trumpeter & Avishai Cohen the bassist both of which have similar ties to Avital & his music. My personal favorite tunes are tracks #1,2,3 but I feel the entire album is well worth its price. Support jazz & live music & pick this one up, you won't regret it.
on August 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
only 14 copies available out there as i write this. if you are a jazz fan, don't let it slip by. this is a fabulous set of live tracks featuring 9 excellent compositions performed by 6 young obscure (at least to us outside of new york) groups. the playing is filled with the fire and spirit. the sound is that of musicians really coming into their talent full force, infusing the music with freshness and joy. great stuff.
on October 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Having bought this album on 'impulse', I could not wait to visit the club when on holiday at the end of June. The venue lived up to the CD and its sleeve notes. Amazing music from people I'd never heard of. The owner told me that he was planning another CD, featuring two sax players - has it been issued yet?
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