Modern Times / Trio
French-Israeli piano player Yonathan Avishai, from bass player Omer Avital's band, presents the first volume of his "Modern Times" series.
Yonathan Avishai has developed an original style based on the basic elements of jazz —meaning swing, blues and improvisation— that he combines with a great originality. Reflecting the influences of John Lewis, Duke Ellington, Ahmad Jamal or Bobby Timmons, pianists of the right note, he goes back to the essence and fundamentals of the art of the trio, teamed with bass player Yoni Zelnik and drummer Donald Kontomanou.
Convinced that minimalism is the best way to oberve musical movements and go straight to the essence of music, Yonathan has developped under the concept of "Modern Times" a reflections on cycles, sound and interplay that creates a unique emotional and colorful universe. As he goes back to old themes from the history of jazz (Cornet Chop Suey by Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington's I Got It Bad) and interprets his own suggestive melodies, he reaches to a level of poetry and simplicity that has become rather rare.
THE TRIO :
YONATHAN AVISHAI, piano
One of the most talented musician from the new Israeli jazz scene, French-Israeli piano player Yonathan Avishai's talent was first discovered through the band Third World Love that he cofounded with trumpet player Avishai Cohen, bass player Omer Avital and drummer Daniel Freedman (five albums). Born and raised in Tel Aviv, he often accompanied touring American musicians such as Walter Blanding Jr. and Marcus Printup and was part of Arnie Lawrence's Ensemble. He is currently living in France. A regular member of the Omer Avital Quintet, he often performs with the band The Three Cohens.
"Yonathan is one of those rare musicians who are totally unpredictable... He always gives the feeling that he is completely free and able to approach everything he plays as a game." (Yaron Herman, pianist)
"Yonathan is one of my favorite musicians alive, and his voice needs to be heard. His music is deep and soulful, different than anything you might have heard. Please support by donating and sharing this." (Avishai Cohen, trumpeter)
Yonathan Avishai featured with the Omer Avital Quintet during the Nice Jazz Festival last year :
YONI ZELNIK, bass
Bass player Yoni Zelnik is one of the most called musician on the French scene. He studied music in Paris after growing up in London and Israel. Discovered along singer Youn Sun Nah, he has been involved in many bands, including Sophie Alour's Uncaged Quartet and Géraldine Laurent's Time Out Trio, and in the collective Paris Jazz Underground. He is now appearing with Avishai Cohen's Triveni and the band Lucky Dog with Frédéric Borey and Yoann Loustalot, among others.
DONALD KONTOMANOU, drums
Growing up in the United States, Sweden and France in a musical environment thanks to his mother singer Elisabeth Kontomanou, Donald Kontomanou has developped into one the most talented drummer from the new generation of jazz musicians in France. Based in New York from 1995 to 2001, he has sharpened his style by playing with musicians such as tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen, before moving to Paris where he performed along with Laurent Coq, Julien Lourau and Jean-Michel Pilc, among others. He is currently a member of pianist Leïla Olivesi's group, Laurent de WIlde's trio and the Linx/Wissels Quartet.
THE ALBUM :
The 15-track album presents mostly original music and includes two songs by Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
2. Water (Rubato)
3. Time (4/4 Meditation)
4. I Got It Bad (Duke Ellington)
5. Dancing Child
6. Etude I (For Bass)
7. Night in Zvulun
8. Sketch of Barcelona
9. Time in B Flat
10. Modern Times Blues
11. Etude I (Trio)
12. The Letter
13. Latter That Day
14. Cornet Chop Suey (Louis Armstrong)
15. Water (Epilogue)
Produced by Yonathan Avishai.
Artistic Direction by Vincent Bessières
Record by Philippe Teissier du Cros on July 22-23, 2014.
Graphic Design by Olivier Linden
Photo by Eric Garault