Ari Erev - Jazz pianist, composer
"A Handful of Changes" Album recording
at Pluto Studios, Tel-Aviv.
Joel Frahn - Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Gilad Dobrecky - Percussion
Arie Volinez - Electric and Double Bass
Tal Ronen - Double Bass
Eitan Itzcovich - Drums
Ofer Shapiro - Clarinet and Alto Saxophone
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1. Open Possibilities
2. Irit's Wave
3. Step by Step
4. Kshe'Or Dolek Ba'Halonekh
(Light in Your Window)
5. Prelude in E minor Opus. 28 No. 4 /
So In Love
(F. Chopin / Cole Porter)
6. Simple Melody
7. Precious Present
8. (Interlude) For All We Know
10. Me'ever La'Tkhelet (Beyond the Blue)
11. On Second Thought
12. Time Flies (Bouns Track on digital distribution)
All tracks composed by Ari Erev, except where indicated
Liner Notes by Scott Yanow
The release of "A Handful Of Changes", which builds upon the success of Ari Erev's previous CD
"About Time", shows the progress and continued musical evolution of Erev, who, in his native Israel,
has developed into a top jazz pianist and composer.
"My music has evolved during the past few years," says Ari. "The new CD combines the intimate, delicate
and emotional style heard in my first album with some more energetic and Latin-oriented performances."
While "About Time" showcased Ari Erev?s playing in a trio, "A Handful Of Changes" features the pianist
in settings ranging from a duet to a sextet with two saxophonists. The musicians on the set fit perfectly
the Latin touch of the album. Tenor-saxophonist Joel Frahm, an American based in New York, is a major
musician who provides a lot of fire to the date. Bassist Arie Volinez and drummer Eitan Itzcovich are
notable not only as great musicians but as influential educators in Israel. New York-based bassist
Tal Ronen plays bass on three of the songs. Percussionist Gilad Dobrecky has worked with Ari on a
project of jazz interpretations of Cuban and Mexican songs. Ari credits him with substantial contribution
to the Latin influence of the project. A special guest is Ofer Shapiro who plays alto on "Precious Present"
and clarinet on "Light In Your Window."
The program opens with "Open Possibilities," a driving piece for the quintet. The energetic, Latin-tinged music gives
one the impression that it can go in any spontaneous direction. Frahm displays a passionate tone, Erev's improvisation
has a strong forward momentum, and Dorbecky's percussion adds excitement to the piece. "Irit's Wave" is dedicated to Ari's wife.
The lyrical jazz waltz has Erev and Frahm making personal statements. "Step By Step" has a haunting feel, is memorable enough
to possibly become a standard in the future, and features Frahm's heated soprano.
"Kshe'Or Dolek Ba'Halonekh" (which in English translates to "Light In Your Window") is one of two songs on this set by
composer Alexander Argov. "While he is not considered a "Jazz" composer," says Ari, "his use of advanced harmonies always intrigued me.
Ofer Shapiro's clarinet solo is particularly special.
Chopin's "Prelude in E Minor Op. 28, No. 4," leads into the similar sounding standard "So In Love," a fine showcase
for the rhythm section. Erev's "Simple Melody" has a pretty theme that Frahm sings through his tenor. The complex harmonies
challenge the soloists and give the song a great deal of substance. Of "Precious Present," Ari says, "Time is a precious present
and no moment should be wasted. The night before the recording, my daughter had a car accident but was fortunately not hurt. That too
was a precious present, the luck that we had." This Brazilian-flavored piece features the full sextet with Shapiro's alto and Frahm's
soprano blending together perfectly; both take lively solos.
The standard "For All We Know" is a slow ballad interlude given a heartfelt and very emotional treatment by the duo of
Joel Frahm and Ari Erev. "Transformation" gives Erev and Frahm opportunities to solo over both 5/4 and 4/4 time and they swing
with creativity "Me'Ever La'Tkhelet" is a melodic piece that showcases the trio and features interplay by Erev,
Ronen and Itzcovich that is worthy of the Bill Evans Trio. The set concludes with "On Second Thought," a superior
workout for Frahm on soprano with the trio.
Taken as a whole, this recording shows Ari Erev's mastery of the jazz mainstream, finding his own voice within modern straight ahead
jazz while creating a colorful set full of variety and inspired playing.
"A Handful Of Changes" is a giant step forward for the pianist-composer, whose reputation in the jazz world will obviously be
spreading far beyond Israel.
Author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76
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