CD Breathing [Dan Aran] (CD 4681197),
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Breathing [Dan Aran]

  • 1. Sun Bath
    2. Shnozel
    3. I'm So Blue
    4. Riva
    5. Para Ezequiel
    6. Blessing, The
    7. I Concentrate on You
    8. Tenderly
    9. Gul Lihibib
    10. Yemini Pne
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 45

  • Credits
    ProducerDan Aran; Luke Kaven
    EngineerMichael Perez Cisneros

    Personnel: Dan Aran (drums, percussion); Itai Kriss (flute); Uri Sharlin (accordion, piano); Gili Sharett (bassoon); Eli Degibri (tenor saxophone); Ben Holmes, Avishai Cohen (trumpet); Jonathan Voltzok (trombone); Art Hirahara (piano).
    Audio Mixer: Michael Brorby.
    Photographer: Luke Kaven.
    Arrangers: Dan Aran; Eli Degibri.
    Drummer Dan Aran can certainly claim stylistic allegiance to several factions of modern jazz, from the progressive to ethnic fusion and neo-bop. But it is Dan Aran the composer and theorist who also stands out on this, his debut as a leader, teamed with various-sized groups and instrumentations that showcase the depth and breadth of his fertile imagination. As a rhythmic navigator, he challenges the norm with either extremely complex charts or adapting simple equations of swing into slightly embellished or peaceful pulses. A younger crowd of N.Y.C.-based musicians joins him, most notably trumpeter Avishai Cohen alongside trombonist Jonathan Voltzok, saxophonist Eli Degibri on three cuts, Matt Brewer or Tal Ronen on bass, and the very fine pianist Art Hirahara throughout. There's a large quotient of soul in this music based on patient virtue, and the steadfast belief that even though all of the notes have been played, they can still have new depth and meaning. The four tracks featuring the two brass players represent the most bluesy pieces, including the slow, sighing six-beat-in-five-note strains of the opener, "Sun Bath," with delicate yet intricate, cascading stairstep lines over the processed, looped electric guitar of Nir Felder -- a beautifully developed objet d'art. An outstanding finale, "Yemini Pne" really digs deep into the midnight blue spectrum via Hirahara's uptown late-night musings that merge into a modal groove with a stunning, jamming horn discourse that bumps the sleepy mood up several notches. A soft and gentle "Shnozel" recalls the sonic footprint of the great large ensembles of Woody Shaw that featured Slide Hampton or Steve Turre, where a slowed version of Ornette Coleman's "The Blessing" also gives sway to the notion of where these musicians received major information and inspiration. Another Aran original, "Riva" sounds like a waltz or 6/8 amalgam of "Nature Boy" and "Midnight Sun." Ronen's contribution to the date, "Para Ezequiel" is a straight piano-bass-drums trio waltz, nothing fancy except a slight tango inference encouraging Hirahara's romantic stance. David Amram's multicultural theme "Gul Lihibib" is unearthed, a 7/8 Middle Eastern/Yiddish snake charmer/belly dance composition accented by the exotic flute of Itai Kriss and Uri Sharlin's accordion, while the bassoon of Gili Sharett is woven through a tango ballad version of Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You." This is a recording deserving of several repeat listenings to hear the unfolded layers of sound and ideas that are more subtle, or not readily discernible upon first blush. It's that rare album that grows on you with each spin, a rare commodity in the modern jazz era of copyist populism and well-worn standard fare. For an initial outing, it's an outstanding effort, and comes with a hearty "two thumbs up" recommendation. ~ Michael G. Nastos

  • Critic Reviews
    JazzTimes (p.69) - "A sensitive colorist on the kit,, Aran takes a Zen-like approach on mesmerizing, ECM-esque fare like 'Sun Bath,' 'Shnozel' and the entrancing 'Riva.'"
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