Two Israeli duos suggest completely different ideas about the intimate format.
The duo of sax player Eyal Netzer, known from the Shay Hazan Quintet and his duo with veteran reeds player Stephen Horenstein, and vibes player Oded Geizhals, who specializes in contemporary classical music, relies on gentle and soulful dialog and original compositions. Their debut album as a duo, simply titled «Duo», was recorded at Hateiva in Jaffa in October 2021.
The atmosphere on this album is dreamy and ethereal. Netzer and Geizhals often rely on simple and repetitive, one-note mantras and naive but engaging melodies, as in Netzer’s «Sea Suite», composed during scuba diving under the Mediterranean sea, or in the meditative and quiet «Evening Puja» and «Arba» (four in Hebrew). «Shtaim» (two in Hebrew) adds a soulful-bluesy aroma to the loose, unhurried interplay, while the four, brief «Birds» improvisations inject urgent playfulness. Netzer and Geizhals surprise with an inspired cover to Angelo Badalamenti’s «Laura Palmer Theme» from the soundtrack of the TV cult series «Twin Peaks», and are faithful to the mysterious, suggestive atmosphere of the epic series and its beautiful music.
AKUM (roughly translate as heathen in Hebrew) is the free-improvising, young duo of drummer Bar Levy and violinist Ido Zohar. Both Levy and Zohar are inspired by free jazz, psychedelic rock, «and the Arabic and Jewish music of our homeland – Palestine/Israel». The EP «Ideology Blackout» is their first release and it was recorded at The Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem. The EP is divided into two pieces, both realized in the studio during the recording session. The first, «Ideology Blackout» begins as a mysterious, suggestive drone but patiently Levy and Zohar enrich their psychedelic music palette and develop a powerful interplay With Zohar referencing the electric violin musings of L. Shankar (with echoes of prog-rock solos of David Cross and Eddie Jobson), now matched into a massive, tribal pulse. The second piece «Maelstrom» is more intense and free-associative and cements the immediate affinity of these gifted and daring improvisers.
Eyal Netzer (s, Indian fl), Oded Geizhals (vib, mar), Bar Levy (dr), Ido Zohar (vio)