Israeli born saxophonist Shauli Einav announces his presence with authority on Generations!
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz
If you are not a fan of straight ahead jazz then you can be excused. If you are a fan of straight ahead jazz the Generations from Shauli Einav is improvisational music with muscle. As a composer Einav is scary good with his own composition "Thermo Blues" easily passing for what could have been a long lost Hank Mobley tune. For any saxophonist to cover a Coltrane tune is a huge risk as it is either feast or famine, to cover "Crescent" is going all in on your talents with perhaps "Giant Steps" the only other composition in the Coltrane discography that has achieved similar Holy Grail status (note - so many people cover "Naima" it has become cliche). To play the ballad "Crescent" is one thing, to pull that almost elusive soulful quality from someplace deep and execute this tune with a slightly breathy almost Ben Webster like quality means you have just made jazz sexy again!
The rhythm section for these sessions can not be over looked with the great Don Friedman on piano. Rounding off the rhythm section we have Or Bareket on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums and taking an important role if guiding this rhythmically induced quintet to perhaps even great heights than would normally be expected. Einav's technical ability on both tenor and soprano indicate an artist that has not only done his theoretical homework but embraces the harmonic possibilities that are held secret within each instrument. There are hundreds of saxophone players in the naked city that can play the notes, there are very few that can make the music!
Criticism? More from flautist Itai Kriss would have only added to the incredible richness of the release but to go further would be to split hyper-critical hairs. Shauli Einav posses that innate gift of swing that most modern day players seemingly shy away from. Einav is one of those rare complete package artists that Posi-Tone continues to pull out of thin air with the end result being that blast from the past sound reminiscent of the classic Blue Note sessions from the mid 1960's.
Shauli Einav may not be a household name but he is definitely a name to remember!
Personnel: Shauli Einav: Tenor and Soprano Saxophones; Itai Kriss; Don Friedman: Piano; Or Bareket: Bass; Eliot Zigmund: Drums