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På skive


«Nuff Headlines»

The quintet of Israeli double bass player Shay Hazzan is one of the best active outfits in the small yet vibrant scene of Tel Aviv. The quintet features former students of local sax heroes Albert Beger and Stephen Horenstein – trumpeter Tal Avraham on trumpet and tenor sax player Eyal Netzer, pianist Milton Michaeli and drummer Haim Peskoff (who studied with American legendary drummer Milford Graves). Hazan is inspired by the mystical Gnawa music – and plays the African bass lute, gimbri, the South-African and the Chicago schools of free jazz and their associations with human rights movements and the new wave of hip hop. «Nuff Headlines» was recorded already in December 2019, but its release was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Hazan knows well how to compose song-like compositions with strong melodic themes that stress the uplifting, spiritual power of free jazz. He is a bandleader who acts as a powerful rhythmic engine, anchoring and propelling the music with modest authority and a force only a bassist can provide. The quintet works as a tight organism, bigger than its parts, and the deep friendship of its musicians shines throughout the «Nuff Headlines», and its life-affirming, optimistic spirit.

The atmosphere of «Nuff Headlines» is lyrical and more reserved, compared to the live performances of the quintet. Netzer’s only composition, «Evening Puja», and Hazan’s «Kebero» and «Desert Sanke» sketch the far-reaching musical horizons of the quintet, stretching from India to Morroco, all navigate the spiritual veins of the quintet to sensual and exotic territories, stressing the percolating hypnotic grooves of Hazan, Michaeli and Paskoff. «Vertigo» is a beautiful, moving ballad that highlights the poetic interplay of the quintet, and especially the one of Avraham and Michaeli. «Olam» (world in Hebrew) captures best the positive spirit of this quintet, declaring that its aim is to spread peace, uplifting vibrations and hope in the hearts of those who need it. This impressive album is concluded with an adaption of the poem «Old Tart» by Nir Tom Sabag, Hazan’s childhood friend and collaborator-drummer in the Bones trio, sung by Rosa Lea Salmon, and stressing again the captivating lyrical spirit of Shay Hazan Quintet.

Eyal Hareuveni

Tal Avraham (tp), Eyal Netzer (ts, zurna), Milton Michaeli (p), Shay Hazan (b, gimbri, perc), Haim Peskoff (dr, perc), Rosa Lea Salmon (v)

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