CD review brief: Ari Erev

A Handful Of Changes
(Ari Erev 72625)

Recorded in Tel Aviv, the pianist and composer has various fellow Israelis with him on bass, drums and percussion, but the crucial addition is US saxophonist Joel Frahm.

Erev’s focus is there in the album title – he is interested in changes, not only in chord sequences but also in rhythms. While his compositions do have their fair share of changes I found myself getting lost at times, not sure which direction I was going in or where the whole tune was going to end up.

In some ways, it is when Frahm is playing or soloing that they make most sense. The saxophonist adds form and structure to everything he does, and sometimes he seems to find form and structure that has evaded the composer of the piece. Or maybe Erev is just too familiar with this material and takes it for granted that we will follow him without some signposts.

There is certainly some solid music here, but another problem I have with the album is that it’s just too damn long. I can understand that someone who maybe doesn’t get into the studio as often as he’d like needs to make the most of it, especially when a player of Frahm’s calibre is in town, and I know that a CD will accommodate 75 minutes of music. But that doesn’t mean it has to be done.

It’s just too much to listen to. Some judicious editing would have resulted in a tighter, more interesting album with fewer longueurs.

Categories: CD review

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