here) as a fine vehicle for tenor saxophonist Mark Turner. Here, it belongs to the sweeping piano lines and handsome trumpet. Pianist Avishai's "A Night in Zebulon" has an Ellington-type melody line; it goes "out" a bit after the fine trumpet solo with Freedman's powerful drums and strong cymbal moving around the splashing piano chords. Yet, his piano solo is tender and melodic. Avital's "Sefarad" (the ancient Hebrew name for Spain) has a fine melody, the Iberian influence showing in the trumpet and bass solos as well as Freedman's sympathetic drumming.
On "Songs and Portraits" one can really hear a band at work and play. They listen, they respond, nudge each other in new directions, never hogging the spotlight, always sharing. Third World Love makes music that is creatively and emotionally strong. Powerful stuff that is worth your full attention - for more information, go to www.thirdworldlove.com.
Elsewhere, Erev combines Chopin's "Prelude in E-minor Opus 28, No.4" with Cole Porter's "So In Love", the transition between the melodies aided by a pronounced Latin beat. Frahm's work is exemplary throughout, especially the duet reading with Erev on the standard "For All We Know" and his fiery soprano on Erev's "Step by Step" (Volinez's electric bass work is also quite fine.) "Irit's Wave", a lovely waltz dedicated to the pianist's wife, prominently features Frahm's masterful tenor work - he is both powerful and melodic during his long, well-thought out solo. Shapiro (alto saxophone) and Frahm (soprano) share the lead on "Precious Present", a bouncy piece with a decided Brazilian feel.
With such a long program, it can be hard to keep one's interest but Erev does a fine job of shifting tempos and rhythms, using different combinations of musicians, and providing a good melodic foundation. His debut CD "About Time", released in 2008, was his tribute to Bill Evans - "A Handful of Changes" shows Ari Erev developing his own approach to jazz, smartly adding new voices to the mix. To find out more, go to arierev.com.