The Assaf Kehati Trio deconstructs their own culture influences for an organic look at the global possibilities of modern jazz guitar.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The trio is comprised of bassist Ehud Ettum, drummer Ronen Itzik and of course guitarist Assaf Kehati who handles to compositional and arrangement load for a truly ethereal look at a sound that is stripped by of pretentious flash but reinforced with a harmonic intensity. Five stunning originals and three more eclectic standards make up an emotive presentation that include images of growing up in Israel as well as the lyrical conversations of some modern jazz staples. Assaf Kehati is truly the cultural by product of his own experience.
Naked is a uniquely personal exploration of Kehati's life including the stellar "Song for Saba" which is a recollection of the emotions encountered upon hearing the news that his grandfather had passed on. A vibrant intensity builds with "The Horses' Fight" which is a composition embracing the freedom of horses racing and fighting in the wild. Standards can easily be phoned in and for some artists are used merely in an effort to fill out a release. The blistering arrangement of "When Will The Blues Leave' coupled with the intimacy of "Someday My Prince Will Come" enhance the exponential growth of Assaf Kehati as an artist.
Far more than a fine audio collection of modern jazz guitar, Naked is a visual medium packed with subtle emotion and deep harmonic richness. Trios are most often a leader and two after thoughts that fill out the rhythm section. Kehati, Ettum and Itzik operate as a melodic collective with each bringing a unique artistic vision to the table.Easily one of the best for 2014.
A Sept. 2014 performance via You Tube.
Tracks: Song For Saba; Long Ago and Far Away; Naked; Beneath The Almond Tree; Someday My Prince Will Come; The Horses' Fight; When Will The Blues Leave; Nathan Bo Rega; Outro.