14 November 2018

Too meaningful for me

I like a melody (not least the great standards that merge whimsy with depth) but I found the quietude and mesmerism of Oded Tzur just too much for me. The band was all good. The volume consistently and convincingly rose in each piece from a ppp(p) that was only just audible to loud with abandon usually in someone’s solo and the solos were good. Oded himself did some interesting outings, especially developing repeating phrases that crossed bars and mutated through intervals and perhaps resolved in time. He talked once of Tihai as an Indian classical music rhythmic technique that resolves on a key beat (usually 1 of a bar) after three repeats. Again repeating, he mentioned his three weddings (NYC, Israel, Brazil) and “the most important thing in the world / the most important thing in the world / the most important thing in the world is LOVE”. Three themes, three repeats: a tihai in presentation and in verse. Cool! In fact, everything I seemed to count was in 3 or 6 but I didn’t count everything. Pianist Nitai Hershkovit is a Smalls regular and an impressive player. He soloed impressively and accompanied nicely here too: usually restrained, in the style of the band, then growing in volume and intensity, again in the style of the band. Drummer Colin was nicely outgoing, I thought, and bassist Petros had a lovely tone (mic and a Realist Copperhead?), perhaps highlighted by the very low volume, and played mostly fairly straight syncopated lines but could expand as in one fast thumb position melody played unison with piano. These are decent NYC players but playing just too deep for my enjoyment. It got me wondering about politics, US and others, Trump and Netanyahu; how we account for our own politics (we Australians increasingly need to account); just how Oded feels about this; how this music in relevant. For that matter, is it a relevant question? But, again, deep. I’ll leave this here as I left early there. Decent players but just not for me, at least on the night.

Oded Tzur (tenor) led a quartet with Nitai Hershkovit (piano), Petros Klampanis (bass) and Colin Stranahan (drums) at the Casa del Jazz in Rome.

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