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Alto saxophonist/composer Tsahar further investigates what 3rd stream music left behind, a gorgeous exploration of sound and movement with percussionist Nakatani and the KJLA String 4tet.

Tsahar, Sahar Project / Nakatani / The Kjla String Fourtet

Tsahar, Sahar Project / Nakatani / The Kjla String Fourtet: Solitude (Hopscotch Records)
Label: Hopscotch Records    
Released in: USA    

"The first cooperative venture between Israeli reed man Assif Tsahar and Japanese conceptual percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, both based in New York, focused on investigating the more abstract regions of free jazz (Come Sunday, Hopscotch, 2004). Tsahar exerted more control than sweaty power, and Nakatani proved himself a most singular and versatile percussionist. Nakatani hardly ever uses a regular drum kit and is very close in spirit to another sonic master, German percussionist Paul Lovens. On Solitude, with the KJLA string quartet, they expand their sonic studies further into free-form tone poems.

Out of the nine tracks on Solitude, eight are group improvisations, and the title track that concludes this disc is a Duke Ellington standard. The first track, the tender "Love Is," sets the dark tone for this release. Tsahar's somber bass clarinet soars over Nakatani's murmuring bells and the drone of the strings. The sonorities on the longest track, "Unmoving," are more abstract, and the strings sometimes sound as if they are imitating overtone throat-singing. They add to Tsahar's breathy blowing on the tenor sax and Nakatani's distant drumming until all the tension climaxes in muscular interplay. "Sand Between a Toe" is more playful and the sax and strings play a sort of hide-and-seek game.

The tone poem "The Epistemology of Loss" (dedicated to poet John Berryman, after one of his well-known poems, "The Ball Poem") and the following track, "Of Amazing Most Now" (dedicated to poet e.e. cummings, after his famous poem "i thank You God for most this amazing"), are dense contemplations that capture the realization of loss in the Berryman poem and cummings' sensory bewilderment.

"Blue Sun" retains the same tense, dark atmosphere. The tones become more clearer on "Falling," where Nakatani's tap drumming interlocks with the pizzicato strumming of the strings while Tsahar's bass clarinet navigates the turmoil into more coherent lines. Only then does violinist Audrey Chen manage to stand out with her exceptional technique. This continues on the free-improv "By and By," where all the members of the string quartet are much more prominent. The strings on Ellington's "Solitude" sound a bit dry and detached, but Tsahar contrasts this deficiency with a rich and soulful tone.

Solitude managse to draw a cohesive aesthetic that is very similar in spirit to earlier high-energy efforts by Tsahar, with more colors and shades, more control over expressiveness—but still same intelligence and passion. It may demand more from the listener, but it guarantees an exceptional reward."-Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

See all items in the Hopscotch Records category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
November 2005
Hopscotch Records
Stringed Instruments
Sextet Recordings

Get additional information at All About Jazz

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Price: $10.00
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 00695269603620

Label: Hopscotch Records
Catalog ID: HOP 36
Squidco Product Code: 5447

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2005
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded, mastered and produced by Assif Tsahar.


Assif Tsahar-reeds

Tatsuya Nakatani-percussion

Katt Hernandez-violin

Jean Cook-violin


Audrey Chan-cello

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Track Listing:

1. Love Is 5:52

2. Unmoving 11:02

3. Sand Between A Toe 3:02

4. The Epistemology Of Loss (For John Berriman) 7:39

5. Of Amazing Most Now (For E. E. Cummings) 6:44

6. Blue Sun 5:48

7. Falling 5:34

8. By And By 5:01

9. Solitude 6:06

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