Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alon Nechushtan: Ritual Fire

Alon Nechushtan Trio with special guest clarinet player Harold Rubin
Ritual Fire: An Action Suite in ten parts
Hans Koert

 When Alon Nechushtan decided to make a new album, entitled Ritual Fire, he asked South-African born clarinet player Harold Rubin, now living in Israel, to participate.  I was very excited to hear that Harold Rubin was in town, Alon told in an article: "The initial starting point of "Ritual Fire": I have known Harold for over 15 years from my homeland and considered him as a very unique voice in the contemporary world of improvised music and as a "one of a kind" clarinetist and founding members of free improvisation in Israel. This legendary 81 years old clarinet player is an icon.  Jazz journalist Kurt Gottschalk wonders in its liner notes, how the upcoming generation, which raises with YouTube and Spotify, … creating  their own music by duplicate, manipulate, splice and rearrange any of that music any way they choose, will listen to music when they are grown ups ….. It’s a dizzyingly exciting prospect, Kurt says, to realize, listening to clarinet player Harold Rubon, in his 80s now, that, whatever music these grown ups will inspire, it seems that such a octogenarian like Harold Rubin has ro remind you that nothing under the sun is altogether new … The tools might be different but the language of artistic expression remains the same.

Alon Nechushtan (photo courtesy: Spencer Gordon)

Alon Nechushtan was born in Israel and learned to play the piano, followed private studies under Slava Ganeli  and studied Classical Composition in Jeruzalem. In 2000 he moved to the US where he studied Jazz and Big Band at the well known Boston New England Conservatory as a student of the great band leader, composer, arranger and trombone player, Bob Brookmeyer. He also studied jazz piano with great names like Fred Hersch, one of my favorite jazz pianists. Early 2003 he moved to New York where he joined hundreds of gigs in the New York Jazz scene. He founded his own quintet TALAT in 2002 which recorded and played all around the world at festivals in Canada, Israel and Europe. This group plays a mix of all kind of musical styles from klezmer up to Jazz and funk with North African modes and Middle Eastern rhythms.  ( source:  Alon Nechushtan sets off to a journey beyond words – Hans Koert)

Alon Nechushtan - Ritual Fire  (BTLCHR 71234)

On Ritual Fire he invited for his trio Ken Filiano, one of the most innovative and virtuoso musicians in the field, the info reads …. He provides a warm bed for the extemporaneous explorations …. ( Kurt Gottschalk). Ken can be heard in hundreds of album as a bass player, since his debut in  the 1980s with bands like Vinny Golia  and the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra (1990s).
Bob Meyer is also a veteran, a drummer, who played with Bert Wilson in the 1980s and 1990s and was invited to play in the rhythm sections of Joe lovano, Ed Schuller, Rick Margita and John Abercrombie, to list some names. 
 

The Alon Nechushtan Trio (f.l.t.r.: Bob Meyer - Alon Nechushtan - Ken Filiano) (photo courtesy: Spencer Gordon)

Harold Rubin, special guest on this album, is the nestor of this ensemble. Born in Johannesburg (South Africa) he became inspired by the great swing orchestras of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, the then “modern experimental sounds” of Eric Dolphy and Tony Scott …..  In 1963 he immigrated to Israel, where he became a well known architect, painter. He became fascinated by the music of free improvsers like Cecil Taylor and John Carter and debuted in the late 1980s in bands like the Tel-Aviv Connection and with his own groups (like Zaviot). After he retired he loves to play, especially with the younger generation of Israelian jazz musicians.

Alon Nechushtan (photo courtesy: Spencer Gordon )

Ritual Fire is based on an “Action Suite’ in ten parts", as Alon labeled it – ten spontanious creations … all mostly freely improvised with very little preparations, Alon explains ….
The album Ritual Fire will be released in Europe soon and can be ordered at  Between the Lines and other online distributors. 

Hans Koert
keepswinging@live.nl
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Israelian born Alon Nechushtan surprised me a few years ago with his album Beyond Words ... Now his latest album, entitled  Ritual Fire has been released with the South African born - Israelian jazz icon in improvised music Harold Rubin on clarinet: an action suite in ten parts!
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