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Discography compilation and album comments © by Adam Baruch
Recorded: 1987 Released: 1987
A debut album by the best and the most original Israeli jazz group in the late 80`s. Since the release of this album in July 1987, Zaviot have become the most popular jazz group in Israel and achieved international recognition by playing in Europe at many festivals and clubs.
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Recorded: 1987 Released: 1988
During his visit in Israel in December 1987, the German pianist Christoph Spendel recorded this album with members of Zaviot and Jerry Garval. The musical rapport between Christoph and his Israeli partners is quite overwhelming. A wonderful synergy leading to further cooperation.
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Recorded: 1987 - 1989 Released: 1990
Harold Rubin is undoubtedly the most interesting and spectacular jazz musician ever on the small Israeli scene. I first met Harold in 1987, when he formed the legendary group Zaviot and approached me to become their producer, which eventually resulted in the foundation of my Jazzis label and the Zaviot eponymous album as its first release. Shortly before Zaviot was formed, Harold picked up the clarinet for the first time in over 12 years, after he put music aside upon his immigration to Israel from his native South Africa. He used to play Jazz in SA of course, with his quartet and with the black musicians of the Sophiatown disctrict (Soweto did not exist then), where he used to sneek in at night, which for a white Jewish boy was quite unthinkable at that time. The legendary SA Jazz pioneer Kippy Moeketsi was his close friend. Harold’s work with Zaviot is of course both revolutionary and legendary, but his true nature as an improviser and free spirit was somehow constrained by the limits of the music Zaviot played. When I realized that, I used every opportunity to capture Harold playing in a variety of settings in parallel to the recordings made with Zaviot, especially when musicians visiting Israel were available and open enough to take part in spontaneously and often hastily arranged recording sessions. Soon there was enough material to release Harold’s first album as a leader, using the accumulated material, which was to become Clarinetvoyance. This is the fist album recorded in Israel, documenting the process of collective improvisation and the free form music and I am proud to say a most notable addition to the Israeli jazz heritage. The duet with the German pianist Christoph Spendel was recorded during the sessions, which produced the Tel-Aviv Connection album (Jazzis). The trios with Charles Burnham were recorded when the String Trio Of New York, of which he was a member, toured Israel. The long and complex improvised suite (Clairvoyance) was recorded when the Russian pianist Leonid Chizhik and bassist Victor Dvoskin came to Israel to play at the Eilat Jazz Festival. The rest of the pieces are duos with various Israeli musicians that Harold likes to play with. This is deeply emotional music, which requires attentive listening, but is able to lift the listener to lofty spiritual planes rarely achieved by listening to ordinary music.
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Recorded: 1988 Released: 1988
Jazz is the Art of the unexpected. This is true when the music is being played, as well as during the process of producing a jazz recording. This record is a result of many unexpected factors, the most wonderful of which is the participation of the great American saxophone player, Dave Liebman. Dave arrived in Israel to give a series of master classes at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, prior to his appearance at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat. During his stay in Jerusalem, Jazzis Records celebrated its first anniversary by holding a concert presenting its recording artists. Dave came to listen to the music and I approached him with the idea of recording some music with "Zaviot". He agreed immediately and the recording session was scheduled for the next day. Fortunately a studio and a sound engineer were available on such short notice. Dave and the members of "Zaviot" played as if they knew each other for many years. Unfortunately, we had time to record only two tunes. "Zaviot" has come a long way since recording their first album, released on Jazzis Records one year ago. Numerous performances in Israel and abroad have strengthened the unity and cohesiveness of the group. This recording demonstrates that "Zaviot" are a key element in the mosaic of sounds that symbolizes jazz music in Israel.
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Recorded: 1990 Released: 1990
This is a debut album by Modus, a quintet of young Israeli musicians, who play a variety of styles and moods. The quality of the original compositions presented on this record is especially impressive. Regardless of the label one wishes to put on this music, one thing is sure - this is jazz at its best - creative, swinging and stimulating.
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Recorded: 1990 Released: 1990
This is a very special record for me, reaching far beyond the concept of capturing, for eternity, the magic moments of musical creation. It's an epitome of the many bonds of friendship between people involved in the jazz scene worldwide, as well as a document of the creative processes involved in group improvisation. Leszek Zadlo, who left Poland - his troubled homeland - in the 70's, to live and create music in Germany, is today one of the most important jazz musicians in Europe, and for me the best European saxophonist. His technique is brilliant and his improvisational skills unrivaled. This, combined with his charming personality, makes him a wonderful person and a dear friend since many years. Our common Polish background is just one of the many layers of this friendship. Harold is of course another dear friend, with whom I had the privilege to experience some of the most exceptional moments in Israeli jazz, since the early days of his first group "Zaviot". His enormous vitality and esprit de corps (almost hyperactivity) are best illustrated by the fact, that at the time of this recording Harold was a leader of two separate groups, both called "Parpar" (Hebrew for butterfly). Therefore it was only natural to include both groups in this session. Leszek and Harold met several times in Germany, when "Zaviot" toured Europe. They developed an instant liking for each other as well as a phenomenal musical rapport. I'm happy to be the catalyst behind their friendship and of course this magnificent music. When the Goethe-Institut in Tel-Aviv decided to help us and bring Leszek for a tour in Israel, I immediately booked studio time to make this recording, since I knew about Leszek's and Harold's urge to play and record together. Their concerts in Israel as well as this recording are the best proof of the fact that human talent and creativity have no limits and know no borders. We dedicate this record to all the People of Eastern Europe, for whom the Winter of 1989/1990 was really the most wonderful Spring they had in many years. Adam Baruch November 1990
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Recorded: 1992 - 1993 Released: 1993
Although Romania can be hardly considered as one of the world's jazz centers, the country is blessed with a number of exceptional jazz musicians, famous beyond the country's borders. Among Israeli immigrant jazz musicians one can find several "Romanians", including the fabulous Peter Wertheimer - in my opinion one of the greatest saxophonists. When Gia Ionesco arrived in Israel from Romania, he was immediately absorbed into the local scene, and the formation of "Changes" was soon to follow. His inexhaustible energy, somehow weird sense of humor and an extraordinary devotion to music bought him many fans and followers. Although deeply rooted in the music of the great progressive rock and jazz-rock groups of the 70's, his musical approach is very modern and broadminded, and his virtuosity and inventiveness truly amazing. The two other members of "Changes" are ideal companions to make this group a unique musical unit. Asaf Sirkis is a player of astonishing dynamics, sublime sophistication and finesse. His performances on this record rival the achievements by players of international fame, and I hope one day the worldwide jazz public will discover his name. Gabriel Meir on the other hand is a classic example of stability and serenity, without which "Changes" probably would tend to drift towards chaos and anarchy, in the "heat of creation". However, this poise should not be mistaken for lack of imagination - his intense and spirited playing throughout this record is truly inspirational. The choice of material for this record is also quite unusual. The tracks vary from completely improvised pieces to carefully arranged compositions. Among the numerous versions of "Summertime" one can find on records, the one included here - a suite of seven variations on the theme by George Gershwin - is truly brilliant. The beautiful arrangement of B‚la Bart¢k's "Dawn" is (as far as I know) the world premiere recording of this recently discovered composition by the master.
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Recorded: 1993 Released: 1993
My meeting with Harold Rubin and his music turned to be one of the crucial points of my life. Harold, who was at the time a member of the group Zaviot, impressed me immensely both as a person and a musician. His amazing way of playing the clarinet, the unusual voicing and the topsy-turvy twisting of the melody lines both inspired me and shook me up in spite of the fact that I did have decades of musical experiences behind me, mostly in the Jazz milieu. Now, many years later, I’m still under his spell and every new production involving Harold feels as fresh and exciting as ever. I suppose that the reason that the reason for Harold’s musical magic is a result of the continuous change and development of his Art. In retrospect I can see clearly the direction his music has been taking and it’s no surprise that this album is much more free and improvised that his earlier recordings. I consider Harold to be the most natural Jazz musician in Israel, and so is his music. Therefore it’s only natural that he drifts towards the oral culture of his native South Africa, rather than towards the westernized melody lines, thus following the path well set by great Jazz Masters before him. Harold’s partners on this album belong to another generation, but they have a lot in common with their mentor. They are also natural musicians, mostly self-educated, and therefore free of the limitations imposed by repetitive playing of worn out Jazz standards. Kobi Shefi has been playing with Harold for several years, and in time switched from guitar to bass guitar, providing both the pulse and the additional solo voice of the trio. He also contributes considerably to the trio’s creative ambience. Asaf Sirkis is a recent addition to the trio, but his assimilation in these new musical surroundings is truly remarkable. Asaf is featured on many Jazzis releases and his ability to play in different styles, always in top form, proves his great talent. I should emphasize that this trio is not in any sense a standard leader / sidemen setting. This unique combination of three individuals, whose collected talents and skills create a greater whole, prevails in as atmosphere of mutual respect and admiration, while its members keep inspiring each other continuously. Fellow Israeli Jazz musicians often criticize Harold Rubin for being an amateur, a freak, and a free spirit. This controversy is not new to Jazz and all I can say is that the narrow-mindedness and stupidity are unfortunately also a part of the Jazz world. I hope that Harold’s individuality and ingenuity prevails for many years to come, uplifting the spirits of those fortunate enough to comprehend and cherish it.
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Recorded: 1993 Released: 1995
It is a great pity that some of Israel's greatest jazz musicians often have to live in other countries in order to dedicate themselves totally to their life's ambition - playing jazz. Igal Foni is an excellent example of this phenomenon. He lives now in Paris, performing with some of the world's most prestigious jazz masters, but his roots are here. I first heard Igal when he was a member of Harold Rubin's group "Parpar" (JAZZIS 1009), and his talent and originality were immediately evident. Although he was still a very young player at that time, his conception of rhythm and the role of the drummer in a jazz ensemble were already unique and well defined. His further development, as documented on these recordings, proves that he can be considered as one of Israel's best jazz musicians, and perhaps the most advanced improviser in the field of contemporary jazz. The music presented here features Igal Foni as a member of two ensembles, both led by American musicians, one with his old Israeli partners and the other with his current French colleagues, proving again that jazz knows no national borders. The two leaders need no introductions to the jazz connoisseurs. They are both very dexterous and respected jazz artists. Michael Felberbaum spends most of his time in Europe, performing frequently at the European jazz venues with various lineups, with Paris being his new home-town. Michael Attias is perhaps most widely known as a member of Anthony Braxton's ensemble, but his divers activities leave no doubt as to his role in the vanguard of contemporary improvised music circles. Igal Foni is very lucky to play along with his friends in both ensembles presented here. This music is demanding and full of passion, therefore a high level of mutual understanding, cooperation, respect and sympathy between the musician is required in order to reach this level of interplay. I can only hope that Igal continues to develop his talents in the years to come, and his abilities can be presented on record again soon.
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Recorded: 1995 Released: 1995
I’ve met Graham Collier in the late 1960s in London and I’ve been a devoted follower of his amazing music ever since. In 1986 I organized an Israeli tour for Graham and his group, travelling with them around the country. Graham surprised me with an unusual gift, by writing a jazz suite called “Adam’s Marble”, which was dedicated to me. The “Marble” part (if anybody’s wondering) refers to the task of dedicating one’s life to music, which can be as difficult as chiseling a statue out of a piece of marble, and as glorious. Ever since I started my Jazzis Records label in 1987 I dreamt about recording “Adam’s Marble”, which remained unrecorded for several years. Finally in 1995 I managed to organize another tour for Graham, this time heading a delegation of his students from London, which was combined with a group of Israeli music students. These 15 young and extremely talented musicians rehearsed the difficult music Graham composed in record time and I recorded the Big Band with Graham conducting. For the recording I also invited my all-time favorite Israeli musician and friend Harold Rubin, to serve as the guest soloist. The resulting album is truly amazing. Graham’s compositions, brilliant as always, combined with the youthful spirit of the musicians, worked wonders. Every time I listen to the album I just can’t help myself feeling really proud of being able to add this gem to Graham’s recorded legacy. Here is what Graham has to say about the music: “Adam´s Marble” was especially composed for a tour of Israel in 1986 by my own small group. The composition is dedicated to Adam Baruch, promoter of the 1986 tour, and now owner of Jazzis Records, an important record label on the Israeli jazz scene. The piece was a difficult one to develop and its title grew out of a statement by Michelangelo: “There is nothing in the mind of the artist, which is not already contained in the piece of stone before him. All that he has to do is to get rid of the superfluous.” The composition has been expanded for this project to feature a larger group of 15 musicians. “Bright As Silver” (for Don & John) has been especially composed to accompany “Adam´s Marble” for the concerts and recording. Although it was written as a dedication to two close friends of mine, whose long illnesses accompanied the writing and who passed away the day after the piece was finished, the composition is not meant to be morbid. Its title, a phrase about the sun, is meant to link my friends, who both lived in the Mediterranean, with this project in Israel. The phrase sums up the spirit of both men and that of the musicians involved here. “Aberdeen Angus” was originally written in 1967 and recorded on “Down Another Road” LP. Its revival for this project has acted as a welcome reminder that there was an inherent openness in such pieces, a precursor of the style that now dominates my writing. The Musicians: The musicians are all studying at either the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, or the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat HaSharon, near Tel-Aviv, Israel. They should be considered as young professionals, some on the threshold of their careers, some already in the process of getting established in their respective countries. I hope that this project will start them on the road to international recognition.
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Recorded: 1996 Released: 1997
Harold Rubin is one of the very few true Renaissance men I’ve had the pleasure to meet and befriend over the years. An architect, a poet, a painter and an outstanding musician, but also a wonderful human being, who hates bullshit of any form and shape. This, often bold, honesty is present in every creative process Harold is involved with, and what makes his music so wonderfully different and outstanding. Blue Bag is a musical suite, a complete work of art, rather than a collection of separate and unrelated pieces of music. It is probably Harold’s most “accessible” album. It involves a larger group of musicians (as opposed to his regular trio / quartet setting) and for the first time also features vocals. Stylistically it involves, in addition to the obvious jazz contents, some rock elements (for the first time since Harold played with Zaviot), some theatrical aura and a much clearer melody lines. The entire album brings fond memories of Brecht’s operas and works by musicians like Gunter Hampel and his wife Jeanne Lee or Mike Westbrook and Kate Westbrook. It also prominently features for the first time Harold’s poetry, which constitutes the libretto for the entire suite. The musicians playing with Harold include Mark Smulian, his partner in Zaviot, who proves he can play the guitar as skillfully as he can handle the bass, Smulian’s wife the wonderful singer Gani Tamir, Israel’s best drummer Asaf Sirkis (who plays on many albums released on my Jazzis label), extremely talented trombonists Reut Regev and Rafi Malkiel, and bassist Amit Carmeli. Harold contributes his unique brand of clarinet virtuosity and occasionally recites / narrates his fantastic poetry with the music playing in the background (reminiscent of the wonderful “Jazz & Poetry” movement of the 1960’s). If I could, I’d make every person on this planer to listen to this Magnum Opus, but obviously I can’t do that. Hopefully some of you will read this and subsequently discover some of the best music ever recorded on this planet.
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Recorded: 2000 - 2001 Released: 2001
This album marked Harold Rubin`s return to active recording, after almost four years of silence. With the help of his old friend from Zaviot, Mark Smulian, who owns a small recording studio (called Digihipi), Harold recorded a series of three independently produced albums between 2000 and 2002, of which this is the first one. These three albums portray his extraordinary talents and visionary music at its best and are a wonderful document of his career as well as the local improvised music scene in Israel. The album includes 14 compositions, which are divided into two separate parts. The first part (2’s) is a series of duets with drummer Hagai Fershtman, where Harold plays clarinet and recites three of his superb poems, which are an integral part of the creation. The second part (A Quiet Place For Mr. K.K.) is a beautiful suite dedicated to King Kong and performed as a trio with bass player Eran Borovich. Please note that this suite gets another treatment on the third album in this series, this time as a solo piece. This is wonderful music, beyond description and beyond analysis – it should be heard and enjoyed and inspire.
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Recorded: 2001 Released: 2001
Harold Rubin not only single-handedly created the improvised music scene in Israel since the early 1990’s, but was also the spiritual father of an entire generation of young Israeli players, who were receptive and open-minded enough to embrace this musical form. Many of the players, who started their way in various trios / quartets led by Harold, became leaders and first-rate musicians in their own right, often returning to play with their mentor years later. This album is an example of such a case, as it brings Harold together with a former member of his group Parpar (Butterfly in Hebrew), pianist Daniel Sarid. Sarid took part in the recording of the wonderful meeting between Harold and the Polish saxophonist Leszek Zadlo (released on Jazzis Records) a decade earlier and this album puts them side by side in the studio again. Of course Daniel refined and advanced his music immensely over the years and this meeting places him alongside Harold not as a student / disciple, but as an equal partner in the creative process. About a year before these sessions were recorded, Daniel recorded an excellent duo / trio album with his partner Hagai Fershtman (see their album on Earsay Records), so it was only natural to have Hagai as the drummer. Young bass player Adam Sheflan completed the quartet. The music is of course outstanding, as one might expect. Although written by Harold, other quartet members contributed a lot of creative input. There is plenty of wonderful solos and the quartet swings beautifully, even though the music is mostly free spirited and improvised. Harold recites some of his poems (with music in the background), something that has become an integral part of his unique Jazz act. This is a superb album in every respect and my only hope is that as many people can access this heavenly music as humanly possible.
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Recorded: 2002 Released: 2002
If it wasn’t for the fact that Harold Rubin (musician, painter and poet) lives and creates music in Israel, I’m pretty sure that he would have become one of the best-known icons of avant-garde jazz worldwide. Since I “discovered” Harold 20 years ago, he never ceased to amaze me every time I hear him play live or hear any of his recorded music. His absolutely unique approach to his instrument – the clarinet – and to music in general is phenomenal and in spite of his advanced age he is (to me) one of the most vigorous, adventurous and daring musicians on this planet. Although usually described as a free jazz player, his music can be movingly lyrical at times. He is able to express the entire range of human emotions, from peace and bliss to frenzy and rage. I really hope more people will discover his wonderful music in time. This recording captures Harold completely on his own for the first time (He usually plays in a trio / quartet setting and sometimes in duos). There is nothing else here but the man and his clarinet – the ultimate intimacy. Harold composed all the music included here, including the five part suite “A Quiet Place for Mr. K. K.” dedicated to King Kong, which he describes as follows: “It relates to a psychotic King Kong living in our now world, where brutality has become a way of life and fragile fragments of joy alleviate a terrifying sense of sadness”. I hope Harold’s music will become your “fragments of joy” forever.
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KADIMA COLLECTIVE 10 (Barcode: 634479548291)
Recorded: 2002 Released: 2007
If it wasn’t for the fact that Harold Rubin (musician, painter and poet) lives and creates music in Israel, I’m pretty sure that he would have become one of the best-known icons of avant-garde jazz worldwide. Since I “discovered” Harold 20 years ago, he never ceased to amaze me every time I hear him play live or hear any of his recorded music. His absolutely unique approach to his instrument – the clarinet – and to music in general is phenomenal and in spite of his advanced age he is (to me) one of the most vigorous, adventurous and daring musicians on this planet. Although usually described as a free jazz player, his music can be movingly lyrical at times. He is able to express the entire range of human emotions, from peace and bliss to frenzy and rage. I really hope more people will discover his wonderful music in time. This recording captures Harold completely on his own for the first time (He usually plays in a trio / quartet setting and sometimes in duos). There is nothing else here but the man and his clarinet – the ultimate intimacy. Harold composed all the music included here, including the five part suite “A Quiet Place for Mr. K. K.” dedicated to King Kong, which he describes as follows: “It relates to a psychotic King Kong living in our now world, where brutality has become a way of life and fragile fragments of joy alleviate a terrifying sense of sadness”. I hope Harold’s music will become your “fragments of joy” forever. Side Note: This is a reissue of this album on the Kadima Collective label, replacing the original release done privately by Harold, which BTW is a rare collectors´ item by now.
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Recorded: 2002 - 2003 Released: 2003
Jean Claude Jones (bass) is a central figure on the Israeli jazz scene since many years and a pivotal member of the avantgarde / free jazz movement in Israel. Former member of the Kedma trio, he played with litarally everybody on the scene during the years. This is his debut album as a leader and he performs a series of duets with usual friends like Harold Rubin (clarinet), Yuval Mesner (cello) and many others. This is a showcase of his skills as a player and improviser and an important document of the local scene.
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Recorded: 2004 Released: 2004
2nd volume of improvisational duos recorded by Jean Claude Jones with his friends in 2004 (with a few earlier pieces). As usual this music is highly intellectual, with very personal approach to inprovised free jazz. Friends include other Israeli improvisers (and members of the Kadima collective) like Harold Rubin (clarinet), Gan Lev (reeds), Daniel Hoffman (violin), a.m.o. A few guests from abroad are also present, like Ned Rottenberg. Not easy music, but highly rewarding.
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Recorded: 2004 Released: 2005
This album documents the musical / spiritual meeting between the two leaders of the Israeli improvised music scene. Harold Rubin started the movement on the late 1980’s, after his legendary group Zaviot disbanded, leading a long series of ensembles active in the Tel-Aviv area, where he lives. Jean Claude Jones (or J.C. to his friends) arrived on the scene at about the same time, playing with another legendary group Kedma (both Zaviot and Kedma released their albums on Jazzis Records). Later on Jones played with many different ensembles in the Jerusalem area, where he lives, and founded the Kadima Collective – an association of improvising artists (cross-genre), which now independently releases various projects on record. Their path crossed many times over the years but they somehow failed to record together and this much overdue album puts things right at last. The intimate duo of clarinet and electro acoustic bass is the foundation of the music, with Harold reciting / voicing his poetry on top and Jones adding live electronics occasionally, all of those based on musical telepathy and interplay between the creators. This is intense stuff, requiring total attentiveness and open-mindedness, but for people who are willing to stretch out their intellectual muscles the rewards are infinite. Sadly, there is very little music of such quality being made anywhere in the wold these days.
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Recorded: 2005 Released: 2008
Clarinetist / composer Harold Rubin is one of the very few champions of improvised music in Israel. His work in the field of Free Jazz in the last two decades created an entire new universe of music. If not for the fact that he resides in Israel, he would surely be one of the world’s most revered musicians with many followers, but alas only very few (but fortunate) people know him and his music. I feel deeply honored and privileged to be his friend and his producer and I will never get tired of his wonderful music nor will I stop singing his praises. This album is a typical Rubin recording – if “typical” ever applies to him or his music – a four hour session with him and two young Israeli musicians: Maya Dunietz (piano) and Yoni Silver (bass clarinet), for which Harold arrived armed with a set of basic “musical motives” and told the musicians to go “wild” and flow with him. The result is, as usual, stunning, with telepathic interplay and imaginative group improvisation presiding. Improvised music is never an easy listening experience, but one has to be deaf not to appreciate the beauty and depth of this music. With the clarinet and bass clarinet complimenting each other sonically and the piano creating layers of harmonic textures, cementing the musical unity, this is a unique musical experience, which must be listened to with attention and openness, sure to impress any sensitive listener. I only wish more people would listen and get hooked, as this is way to good to be anonymous. Brilliant!
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Recorded: 2006 Released: 2006
1st album by Israeli Jazz prodigy Ariel Lanyi. It is extremely difficult to write anything about this album due to the fact that it probably is the most sensational jazz recording ever, considering the fact that Ariel was only 8 years old (YES EIGHT) when this music was recorded. Of course there are a few well-known piano prodigies in music’s history, but surely none of these played improvised music and free jazz. Ariel plays classical piano since the age of 4 and discovered jazz accidentally (at the tender age of 7) by pressing an Earl Hines link on the Net. He started to take lessons with Jean Claude Jones, leader of the Kadima Collective (a group of Israeli musicians dedicated to improvised music) and soon was discovered to possess exceptional gift for improvisation and a musical attitude of a matured musician. The music included here was recorded on several occasions live and in the studio during the months proceeding his 9th Birthday, when this album was released. The album contains mostly Ariel’s original compositions and improvisations, primarily because composition, free improvisation and avant-garde are the main attraction of jazz for him. The few standards that appear here are substantially altered, as appropriate for his genre. Some of the pieces are solo piano performances, others are duos with Israel’s most important improvisers (all of which could easily be Ariel’s grandfathers), like Harold Rubin (clarinet), Jess Koren (sax), Jerry Garval (drums) and Jean Claude Jones (bass). Whatever the starting point of each piece, they all show Ariel’s enthusiasm for free improvisation and his unique mixing of styles, ideas and influences. One thing is sure; nobody in this world would guess, by listening to this music without the knowledge of the facts, that this is a kid. The music is completely mature and exceptionally developed. It’s almost scary to imagine what this kid will be up to in a few years? Check it out for yourself!
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JAZZIS 1028 (Barcode: 663330102822)
Recorded: 2006 Released: 2007
I have met Harold Rubin twenty years ago, when he approached me with a proposition to release the debut Zaviot album on my newly established Jazzis Records label. This opened a friendship and a cooperation with lasts since then. I learned to appreciate Harold’s music and love it dearly, not only as a producer of many of his albums but also as an avid Jazz listener, and his constantly changing music and outstanding talent have been a constant source of joy and inspiration. Harold is such an astounding musician and such a unique voice that his creation stands out like a torch in a dark night. Totally disregarding trends and fashions, genres and pre-conceptions he is able to bring into being a completely original music of staggering beauty and deeply moving emotion. Although it might sound inappropriate, in my opinion Harold is one of the most important Jazz musicians worldwide in the last two decades. As someone who has access to almost every Jazz album released anywhere on this planet I’m completely convinced that he has very few peers of matching quality and surely none whatsoever on his instrument – the clarinet. This album documents the music recorded by Harold with his trio (Shmil Frankel – bass and Ram Gabay – drums), which includes (as usual) young Israeli players. The trio is Harold’s preferable platform, as it allows on one hand plenty of interplay and co-creation and on the other leaves plenty of space for individual statements. Most of the music was written by Harold, who also uses his voice (and sometimes lyrics) to express his emotions as an alternative instrument. Of course Harold is also a great graphic artists so I was only glad to use his drawing of the trio members on the front cover of the sleeve. To those, who are familiar with Harold’s music, this will be one more magnificent addition to his outstanding legacy. Those, who are unfamiliar with his music, have now a new chance to get to know something they have been missing in their lives. Any Jazz fan around the world, who has never heard a Harold Rubin album, is simply ignorant of the most important Jazz voice on this planet.
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KADIMA COLLECTIVE 11 (Barcode: 634479549090)
Recorded: 2006 Released: 2007
The Annual “White Night” Festival in Tel Aviv is Israel’s only cultural event dedicated to Improvised Music and Free Jazz. It is a twelve-hour musical marathon promoting creative, improvised music and facilitating collaborations between Israeli Artists and artists from abroad. It also fosters the development of young musicians, exposing their work to the world. The 2006 event was the second year this beautiful event took place and hopefully the tradition will continue in the years to come. This album presents a selection of magic moments captured live during the festival’s performances, all quite different from each other but all fascinating and worthy of preserving for posterity. The participants include all the important Israeli improvisers active on the local scene: Harold Rubin, Jean-Claude Jones, Steve Horenstein, Ariel Shibolet, Slava Ganelin, Albert Beger and the Spheres Duo. Visiting musicians from Europe and US include John Tchicai, Kinetic Trio (Poland) and others. This is an extremely important document of the Israeli Improvised Music scene and anybody open-minded enough to expose himself to some challenging musical experiences should enjoy this music immensely.
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KADIMA COLLECTIVE 14 (Barcode: 634479745652)
Recorded: 2007 Released: 2008
Israeli bassist and Improvised Music pioneer Jean Claude Jones revisits eleven musical pieces recorded live and in studio over a period of ten years, performing, what he calls recomposition of the pieces. In his own words: “As opposed to mere editing, recomp involves the deconstruction, subtraction, rearrangement, and reconstruction of the material. It not only changes the sequencing, but it radically affects the feeling and the flow of the music. It also changes the texture of the weave, the voice of the team, and the original intention, revealing new connections, transitions, and possibilities”. The pieces are duos and trios played with other Israeli Improvised Music musicians like Harold Rubin (clarinet), Steve Horenstein (flute, bass clarinet & saxophone), Daniel Hoffman (violin) and others. One duet with world-famous Israeli bass player Avishai Cohen is also included. As usual, this is very difficult music, suitable for enthusiasts of the genre, but also an extremely rewarding intellectual experience. It’s good to see some people still treating music as Art and not a commercial commodity.
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