(Available April 26 at http://www.BJURecords.com and http://www.nadavremez.com)
Nadav Remez, SO FAR
Guitarist/composer Nadav Remez – originally from Israel, now living in Brooklyn, NY, is “one of the best recent discoveries of the jazz scene,” (L’Est Republicain). His music, an intriguing blend of modern jazz, alternative rock, and Jewish folk music, is drawing attention from fans and critics worldwide. The Berklee and New England Conservatory alumni’s debut recording, So Far, captures a magical performance by Remez and his band of Shai Maestro, James Wylie, Steve Brickman, Avri Borochov, Ziv Ravitz, and special guest Itamar Borochov, in an adventurous musical journey through eight new originals, and a brilliant arrangement of a traditional Jewish melody, “Lecha Dodi”. So Far will be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on April 26.
The title track “So Far” is an ensemble piece with no solos, but focused rather on introducing the voices of the band, and having them fully expressed in this piece of music. The composition serves as the overture, or centerpiece, for the entire recording as it contains various melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements from the rest of the tunes. So Far continues with “Pinchas”, inspired by “the jazz-rock-folk writing approach of drummers Eric Harland and Brian Blade”, said Remez, and the first tune on the CD featuring extended improvisations by pianist Shai Maestro and Remez. On “Pinchas”, and the rest of the recording, the band reveals its Fellowship-ness with splendid results. “Inner Peace” began humbly as a composition exercise but quickly morphed into a tune worthy of being on the album. The first section of the tune shares the chordal structure of one of Joe Henderson’s most revered compositions, “Inner Urge”, and also some of the cathartic energy from much of mid-1960s jazz. “Untitled” begins the “B-side” of the album so to speak, offering an act two that features more intense playing. The traditional Jewish song, “Lecha Dodi”, sung in synagogues around the world on Friday nights to welcome the Sabbath, is re-imagined by Remez by bringing together two variations on the melody with the quarter-tone improvisations from guest trumpeter Itamar Borochov and saxophonist James Wylie. Continue reading