Friday, May 25, 2012

Ehud Asherie Organic Posi-Tone 2011

There are but a handful of truly gifted artists that posses the ability to split time between piano and organ without either skill taking a back seat or suffering some sort of sonic breakdown. Fats Waller, Larry Goldings and Sam Yahel are but a taste of the talent that does not draw a line between the two instruments and Ehud Asherie can now be placed along side these masters with the release of Organic.

Asherie's metoric rise as one of the finest young lyrical players in the straight ahead genre now finds him cutting his musical teeth on an organ release that should help propel him to that next level of artistic achievement. A release that is evenly split between originals and covers that range from Leonard Bernstein to Antonio Carlos Jobim. Despite this being an Asherie release, Peter Bernstein at times flips the ensemble to the point you would swear this might be his record. Bernstein and his Kenny Burrell like crisp single note lines are engaging with perhaps his finest work on Organic displayed on the delightful ballad "Coquette." Ehud Asherie's organ work is similar to his piano led ensembles on the Posi-Tone label. Asherie is as far from self indulgent as one can artistically get and then end result is aesthetically pleasing without resorting to some of the more modern abstractions of harmonic adventure that is the sonic road to nowhere in most cases. As a tenor player my ears immediately went into overdrive on the forgotten Sonny Rollins tune "The Stopper." Lyrically punctuated with the Rollins flair alto saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky does Rollins proud! Drummer Phil Stewart joins in the controlled sonic fury with a solo clearly establishing his comfort zone by owning the pocket. Another eclectic gem would be a more up tempo "Favela" from Antonio Carlos Jobim. A samba on steroids. Closing out with "Blues For Fats" showcases Asherie is a completely new and soulful light.

A one word review if possible or appropriate might be impressive. There are simply far too many highlights to list and any critical remarks would border on the hyper-critical as all the musical stars seem to be in perfect alignment for this stellar release.

Tracks: Tonight; Valse Pra Jelena; The Stopper; Coquette; It's Possible; Apostrophe; Blue For Fats.

Personnel: Ehud Asherie: organ; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Dmitry Baevsky: sax; Phil Stewart: drums.