Release: July 7, 2023
Times (July 14th) brings together the two lives of Israeli-born trombonist Yossi Itscovich into a set of original music which is rich, dense and full of intricate harmony.
The bandleader was deeply entrenched in the classical world – the Tenerife Symphony’s bass trombone player – before cutting his teeth in New York with jazz masters such as Barry Harris and Slide Hampton.
The choice of a large-ensemble showcases an ear for lush harmony which impressively consolidates the gap between the two genres.
Each of the seven tracks were composed to sound as if they were written in different eras. From the modern swing feel of ‘Keith’, the Ellington-esque ‘Our Future’, to the contemporary atonal ‘Altars’, the ensemble moves fluidly between the familiar and the challenging.
Rich, dense, and tension riddled harmony serve as the foundation for the Octet’s exploration of the intersection between classical music and jazz, with influences ranging from Cuban rhythms to the complex treatment of folk melodies Bartók was famous for.
The record is semi-programmatic; ‘Altars’ is set to a poem by the same name written by Austin Rodenbiker, ‘40 Years’ is a tribute to the amount of time the Israelites spent traveling from Ancient Egypt to Kanan while ‘Yesterlives’ is structurally connected to Jerome Kern’s well known tune ‘Yesterdays’.
Recorded at the esteemed Jazzcampus in Basel, Switzerland, over the course of two days, the result is an ensemble sound that is cohesive and intimate, encapsulating the feeling and energy of being in the room with the octet. Each member of the band is given their moment to shine, from extended improvised introductions, highly personal interpretations of melodies, and extended passages of improvisation.
A strong debut, ‘Times’ showcases Itskovitch’s skills as an instrumentalist, composer and bandleader with a clear sense of vision, respect for the jazz tradition, and a desire to create something forward-thinking and fresh.
Yossi Itskovitch | Trombone
Sam Barnett | Saxophone
Charlie Rose | Saxophone
Nadav Erlich | Double Bass
Òscar Latorre | Trumpet
Iannis Oboils | Piano
Marton Juhasz | Drums
Fabio Guovea | Guitar
Tatiana Nova | Vocals
Yo Sí Que Sí
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