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Heart Beats

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Album Review

Following up his 2008 debut Introducing Omer Klein with a solo piano work is something of a bold move, but the set of a dozen original compositions accomplishes its goal of establishing the wide parameters of Klein's abilities. For reasons not made clear, the recording begins with the drums-only title track, before giving way to lyrical performances that draw on Klein's Israeli upbringing as well as influences from other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Klein is fond of unexpected, engaging shifts of tempo and melody, and his rhythmic sense is impeccable, all the more so for the album's lack of additional musicians. "Yemen" succeeds in evoking the diversity of that complex region where ancient tradition often fights a battle with progress, and "Voices of War" makes its commentary by paradoxically remaining peaceful and solemn. Klein has declared that "Arak" was written to honor his favorite North African alcoholic beverage, and its giddy tones would feel right at home in an outdoor café on the edge of the desert. "5/8 Mantra" is, of course, performed in that signature, Klein's crisp and flighty leads spilling out over the solid beat he sets up. "Niggun" is a grand gesture approaching classical piano in its bravado, "Remembering" is appropriately reflective, "Sun Light" bright and warm, and "Alma," for Klein's wife, is imbued with dreamy romanticism. All of it is thoroughly delightful, masterfully conceived and played. Chalk up another winner for the Israeli Invasion that's brought so many new talents into the jazz world in recent years.

Heart Beats, Omer Klein
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, World
  • Released: 01 January 2009

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