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Album Review

The sophomore album (five years apart) from bassist Shimon Ben-Shir and his group. Ways is based in the jazz realm, but takes grooves and cues from here and there in the world music spectrum as well. The album opens up with a hint of flamenco before turning to a jazz number only very slightly Latin. "Jochebed" adds some different tones to the proceedings, but the interesting part here is the deep bend in the bassline that comes in and out during the song. The tone turns again to something closer to smooth jazz before a great bit of post-bop courtesy of tenor saxman Duncan Martin's composition "Four Score." The album grooves, and slinks, and thumps, and strolls its way through the rest of the tracks, never quite settling on a style or a theme but keeping the tone suitable for an afternoon at a gallery — this isn't the most rousing jazz ever created, but it serves a creative purpose other than sheer exhilaration. It's thought-provoking without becoming cerebral, ambient without becoming moody. The bass is the most adventurous instrument here, holding an odd leadership role in the ensemble despite the limitations in range (Ben-Shir is good, but he's certainly not following the Jaco Pastorius line of bass improvisation and virtuosity). Worth a spin for a glance at some contemporary stylings from what is essentially a jazz artists collective, a singer/songwriter community of sorts (but without the singing).

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WAYS, Shimon Ben-Shir Group
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  • 7,92 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, World
  • Released: 07 May 2007

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