Migrant Workers may be the most exciting quintet to come along in years!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
New York is the quintessential melting pot and this holds especially true for improvisational musicians. Migrant Workers are a dynamic collective of New Yorkers whose cultures and influences are as diverse as their music. There is simply not another band that can cover such expansive harmonic territory without having the expected melodic disconnect that so often occurs when a band gets in its own way. The soundtrack to New York, there are only a handful of artists with the ability to capture the spirit of the mecca of improvisational music. Migrant Workers plays as a collective and as a key component in pushing modern jazz to a new contemporary standard.
Migrant Workers are indeed a cultural collective with Australian Nick Hempton and Dan Aran, Itai Kriss, Jack Glottman, and Tal Ronen all from Israel. The sound runs the sonic spectrum from the more introspective middle eastern flavor to bebop smokers and the syncopated snap of some odd metered funk that is the sound of the city that never sleeps. Eclectic yet accessible and incredibly adventurous, a true working band in every sense of the word. One of the more interesting aspects of the band would be that rare saxophone / flute front line which adds a subtle nuanced texture which is rare with similar groups. All original compositions which are colorful, balanced and develop an organic lyrical pulse all their own. Breaking down original tunes from a debut release is somewhat like milking a dead cow. This is an ensemble meticulously built on the sound as described and with the smoldering spirit of excitement that is New York City.
Easily the best debut release of the year.
Tracks: Two Summers; 28; Gits; Cold Heat; Para Ezequiel; Jack's Leg; Stepping Into Light; Not Here For A Haircut; Winter Solstice; Blues For Tsofi.
Personnel: Itai Kriss: Flute; Nick Hempton: Saxophone; Jack Glottman:Bass; Tal Ronen: Bass; Dan Aran: Drums.