NADAV REMEZ, SO FAR

There’s a storybook quality to the music that guitarist Nadav Remez composes for his debut that’s both compelling and heartfelt. A Brooklyn transplant by way of Israel, Remez has assembled an expressive ensemble of musicians for a program of emotionally charged tunes that sounds as intimate as a septet can make them (he expands the band on two tracks by adding trumpet.)  “Pinchas” takes the spotlight with a dominating melody outlined by saxophonists James Wylie and Steve Brickman. Remez’s playing has shapely post bop contours and the tune features pianist/keyboardist Shai Maestro who invests his clear-eyed solo with an innate soulfulness. Keeping the beat is drummer Ziv Ravitz who, along with bassist Avri Borochov, maintains a steady rhythmic flow. It’s one knockout tune followed by another, “Inner Peace,” which shares its chord structure with Joe Henderson’s classic “Inner Urge.”  As an arranger Remez sets things up to flatter his band mates and here we get another quietly inspiring piano solo from Maestro. The guitarist circles back to the ensemble repeatedly, making the changes on track five, mysteriously “Untitled,” both celebratory and, thanks to a pronounced organ tremolo, also a little mystical. The back end of the album plies the jazz roots of Remez’s homeland with a graceful humility (“The Miracle”) and ends with a low key solo complete with electro tinkering that suggests, like all of “So Far,” that Remez is happy to create the sound and let us supply the imagery. (9 tracks; 56:21 minutes) www.nadavremez.com   www.bjurecords.com 

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JAZZ IN SPACE: NADAV REMEZ, SO FAR

Monday, June 6, 2011

NADAV REMEZ, SO FAR

There’s a storybook quality to the music that guitarist Nadav Remez composes for his debut that’s both compelling and heartfelt. A Brooklyn transplant by way of Israel, Remez has assembled an expressive ensemble of musicians for a program of emotionally charged tunes that sounds as intimate as a septet can make them (he expands the band on two tracks by adding trumpet.)  “Pinchas” takes the spotlight with a dominating melody outlined by saxophonists James Wylie and Steve Brickman. Remez’s playing has shapely post bop contours and the tune features pianist/keyboardist Shai Maestro who invests his clear-eyed solo with an innate soulfulness. Keeping the beat is drummer Ziv Ravitz who, along with bassist Avri Borochov, maintains a steady rhythmic flow. It’s one knockout tune followed by another, “Inner Peace,” which shares its chord structure with Joe Henderson’s classic “Inner Urge.”  As an arranger Remez sets things up to flatter his band mates and here we get another quietly inspiring piano solo from Maestro. The guitarist circles back to the ensemble repeatedly, making the changes on track five, mysteriously “Untitled,” both celebratory and, thanks to a pronounced organ tremolo, also a little mystical. The back end of the album plies the jazz roots of Remez’s homeland with a graceful humility (“The Miracle”) and ends with a low key solo complete with electro tinkering that suggests, like all of “So Far,” that Remez is happy to create the sound and let us supply the imagery. (9 tracks; 56:21 minutes) www.nadavremez.com   www.bjurecords.com 

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