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Ari Erev, A Handful of Changes

Ari Erev -][- A Handful of Changes (featuring Joel Frahm) – [Ari Erev, 2012 | Review] –

Being somewhat bias to the acoustic piano this leads me to believe that composer, pianist and producer in review Ari Erev’s latest endeavor “A Handful of Changes” to me the title suggests this offering could easily mature into a sublime, soul stirring and intriguing musical excursion. Let’s see …

From the onset “Open Possibilities,” swells with a provocative Latin flavor and pulsating expressions are layered to outline the unpretentious melodies which convincingly shape the unmatched lyricism, passion and spontaneity intertwined sets the pace for this eleven song session.

Although this is my first encounter with pianist Ari Erev, it’s fitting to say after a few spins his music is sonically akin to lot artists we’ve heard before. Nevertheless, as a composer Ari separates himself from the pack to build a numinous template that’s conceivably more personalized then the norm. With pieces like “Irist Wave,” it inhabits a chorus of rich textures and elaborate tones appear to be knitted together to form an ideal marriage to allow saxophonist Joel Frahm ample room to solo extensively with his relaxed, distinct and soulful resonance confirms why this composer is one to patiently wait and keep close tabs on his body of work.

“Step by Step” mirrors the transcending melodies of the previous tune it moves with a poignant yet unforgettable torch to retain its allure making this a truly magical moment. It’s by no accident the tempos vary and are unflawed throughout this engagement, Erev’s technique lyrically defines his presence and opens the door for Frahm on horn once again along with the ensemble stretch their voices as soloist which eventually gives momentum to the floating symmetry involved in “Kshe’ Or Dolek Ba’Halonekh (Light in Your Window) and Prelude in E minor Opus. 28 No. 4/ So in Love” both pieces are satisfying and excel buoyantly beyond description.

Genuinely rooted in the fabric jazz, Erev’s astute voice entwines with the spirit of his soul to unveil inconspicuous strands to interpret varied shapes to ultimately explore the sentimental qualities found on the lovely “Simple Melody” flawlessly. His quiet yet creative musings on piano stir up affable harmonies are brightened and noticeably expressed by his hunger for this music.

The elements within “A Handful of Changes” presses forward with an unpredicted twist of rhythmic lines and coordinated colors. Ari labors effortlessly as he delves deeper to showcase his diverse composing skills with “Precious Present.” Erev also combines unspoiled textures hidden in the nuggets of “For All We Know and Transformation,” together they fit neatly in the mix to expose why he want stand still for business as usual he rises the bar to boost this already gorgeous collection of sounds.

Ari Erev’s signature on “A Handful of Changes” is hemmed tightly to form eleven smart, promising and eloquent compositions. Conceptually, these praise gems are brilliantly scored by Erev and executed by a cast of superior players which makes this journey one worth taking. All aside, if modern jazz is your thing with a resounding dose of mainstream jazz tickles your fancy then “A Handful of Changes” is probably what you’re looking for. —Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review