Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rotem Sivan Enchanted Sun Steeplechase 2013

Enchanted Sun

One of a very few truly original guitarists on the scene today...
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz.com

As often as I rant concerning the evils of social media, I happily stumbled upon one of the very few truly original guitarists on the scene today thanks to facebook. Jazz guitarists dot the landscape in the Big Apple like taxi cabs, they are everywhere. While most are more than technically proficient at their craft, few offer that special artistic gift of creativity. Meet Rotem Sivan.

Original compositions that are spontaneous inventions of the creative process. Good guitar trios are common. Great guitar trios are special. The compositions contained herein are what I commonly refer to as the cultural by product of the experiences unique to the artist. This native of Israel blends music from the Middle East, percussive nuances from Africa and the improvisation flow of music referred to here in the United States as jazz into a truly memorable offering. A sonic self portrait created with a collaborative context of images many of us will never see but can now experience these vivid portraits through the harmonic road less traveled by similar artists.

The combination of simplicity and complexity of sound maintains a uniform synergy throughout. This is the soundtrack of a city at closing time. Dusk, jazz after dark illuminating the creative mecca of the improvisational world with brilliant textures. Colors you can hear. Taking on two standard from George Gershwin and Richard Rogers could easily be the harmonic equivalent of tap dancing in a musical mine field. Sivan has that all too rare ability of transforming the iconic standards of "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and "Isn't It Romantic?" into his own personal melodic vision, reinvented post modern classics. "Rodent's Blues" embraces the dynamic tension created not just from harmonic adjustments but the life force created from the lyrical landscape that is New York City. A zen like less is more approach, clean single note runs with no notes wasted. A harmonic chameleon changing meter and dynamics with the ease and grace of masters thirty years his senior. Rotem Sivan sounds like no one else other than himself. Refreshing.  

With Enchanted Sun, Rotem Sivan has now establishes himself as a driving force not just on the New York City scene but on the global stage as well.

Tracks: Here With You; There Without; Rodent's Blues; Isn't It Romantic; Scene #5; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Keep Breathing; Enchanted Sun; Sun-Song.

Personnel: Rotem Sivan: Guitar; Sam Anning: Bass; Rajiv Jayaweera: Drums