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Myth of the Cave

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Album Review

Through its short and fiery history, the State of Israel has produced a handful of significant jazz-oriented musicians. (Immigrants Roman Kunsman and Slava (Vyacheslav) Ganelin and expatriates Avishai Cohen and Assif Tsahar are some who come to mind.) Add to the list young pianist Yitzhak Yedid, a serious composer and improviser who for this recording produces an important suite of five movements loosely based on Plato's classic

Allegory of the Cave, which explores with biting sarcasm the way in which man views the nature of reality. The implications of the philosopher's work are at once spiritual, political, and aesthetic, something not lost on the thoughtful and contemplative Yedid, who comments on the music's ontological allusions in his direct and insightful liner notes. Yedid's musical writing is immersed in the so-called Third Stream, blending a gorgeous, sensitive lyricism with an improvisational spontaneity that ranges from the slow, mournful cries of François Houle's masterful clarinet (perhaps with faint Klezmer gleanings) and Ora Boasson's upper register acoustic arco basslines on "Non-Believer's Prayer" to the pianist's dark, heartrending intricacies and short, wild escapades that are occasionally — such as on "Imaginary Ritual" — reminiscent of Cecil Taylor's intense clusters. As a whole, this is a beautiful, prayerful work of art filled with gentle imagination and graceful elegance that hints at veiled secrets, the sort that not unexpectedly might be unwrapped by a modern Israeli living in a besieged land faced with conflicting realities. Yedid takes himself seriously and so should listeners, for he communicates a soulful individuality devoid of rancor and mawkishness and filled with thoughtful expression. At once lovely, delicate, complex, and challenging, Yedid's work is a fine contribution to the discography of the Third Stream.

Myth of the Cave, Yitzhak Yedid
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