Tag Archives: omer avital

Dancing In The Control Room

18 May

Thanks everyone for coming to the Omer Klein Trio concerts in Germany, Sweden and France.

This trio is constantly growing musically, becoming more open, loose and surprising. Haggai Cohen Milo and Ziv Ravitz are simply the most incredible partners I could ask for!

Here is a video of the trio playing at Fasching Jazz Club in Stockholm, in what was a thrilling Scandinavian debut for us.

The tune is Yemen, composed by myself, and originally appears on my solo piano CD, Heart Beats.

I remember recording that take. My good friend Omer Avital just entered the control room after I finished playing the head in (the initial melody.) We spoke before the session and I knew he would come to the studio to say hi and listen to some takes, but I didn’t know when.

The solo I played on that take (which ended up being the take on the released album) had everything to do with Avital dancing in the control room.

Thank you Jazz Thing TV for posting this video.

I’m playing solo piano, and it’s a new song of mine entitled Something About Love. I think the editing is really thoughful and sensitive. The sound was recorded finely by Radio Bremen.

Next week: Solo Piano at the Loft, Köln, May 23.

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Emotional Value

13 Mar

Lately I’ve been too busy playing and couldn’t blog. That’s a good thing.

I want to thank everyone who have been checking out Four Tips for Improvisers. I’m quite astonished by the amount of readers. I’ll be writing more on this topic, so feel free to send specific questions if you have any.

Shai Maestro, a friend and a great pianist, wrote a beautiful comment on “Four Tips”. It includes a wise piece of advice from Sam Yahel, another great pianist/keyboardist. Thanks for sharing, Shai!

“Sam offered to ALWAYS play in an emotional context. Never practice anything in a mechanical way. Practice as if you had to preform what you are practicing. It can be a very slow tempo, but it has to have an emotional value to it. That way, when you are on stage, and you feel something, your’e brain had already made the connection between the feeling and the action back at the practice room, then it just comes out naturally. It proved itself as one of the best advice Iv’e ever got.”

I recently had mixing sessions with the brilliant engineer Christian Heck, for my upcoming trio album with Haggai Cohen Milo and Ziv Ravitz.

Listening back to the trio, I found myself thinking about my musical and personal relationships.

What I hear in those tracks could only be achieved through quality-time spent together: traveling, talking, laughing, playing live, recording, going through life.

Someone recently asked me about my collaborators. I began naming names, and eventually said “I basically work with my friends”. That’s somehow true. I can’t recall the last time I was on stage, without at least one of the other musicians being a close friend.

Of course, I also play with new people all the time. I love that. You have to do it  if you want to keep fresh and learn new things. But it seems that the ones who become my friends and the ones who become my long-term collaborators are the same people.

I feel very blessed to have in my life people like Omer Avital, Rona Kenan, Alon Lotringer, Ziv and Haggai, and others. With each of these people I have been developing a long-term friendship and a strong artistic bond – we’re playing on each other’s projects, share the bandstand, consult each other.

In my musical life, I cannot think of a bigger asset I have.

Red Sea Next Week

15 Jan

Next week I will perform at the Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival in Eilat, Israel. It will be a solo piano concert, in which Rona Kenan  will be my special guest:

Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival, Eilat – Friday, January 20, 21:00.

Rona is one of my favorite singer-songwriters in recent years. Her texts are strong, poetic and uncompromising; her compositions have surprising and interesting twists; and her vocal performances are always honest and convincing, and very varied in tone and energy.

Right after my concert with Rona, The Bad Plus will perform on the same stage. I’ve been following this great band since they started out and their music is extremely original and beautiful. In Eilat they will perform On Sacred Ground – their version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Several years ago I took one lesson with Ethan Iverson, the band’s pianist, in New York; It will suffice to say that I still sometime practice the simple and profound things he showed me. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing this performance.

I will stick around at the festival to hear my friends Third World Love on Saturday. They are an incredible group and their show is highly recommended. And Thank you Omer Avital and Avishai Cohen (TWL’s bassist and trumpeter) for this nice mention at an interview for Ha’aretz this week:

“Among the newest generation of jazz players, Cohen and Avital praise guitarist Gilad Hekselman and pianist Omer Klein as outstanding young musicians now working abroad who are leaders in their fields.

‘In April, my new album with Omer Klein will be released’,says Avital, showing that “three generations” of Israel jazz musicians abroad are continuing to mingle and influence each other.”

The full story is here.

The album Avital is mentioning is a release of a recording we did a long time ago – in 2006 I think – playing his music with Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Joel Frahm on saxophone and Daniel Freedman on drums. We were playing a lot together at the time and I can’t wait to hear this music mixed, mastered and out there.

Shwaye Shwaye

6 Feb

Last week I started composing the music for a very exciting theater production in Germany, at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. I’m thrilled to be joining a great group of artists who will be working on this piece.

The play is called Lemon Tree and is based on the 2008 film of the same title, directed by Eran Riklis. (you can read about the film here ).

The film was adapted to the stage by Noa Kenan-Lazar and Anat Rosman, and translated to German by Ruth Melcer.

The director of the production is Dedi Baron; she is one of Israel’s most fascinating theater directors in the 2000’s, and I’m especially excited to be working with her.

I will compose and record new music for this production, playing most of the instruments myself, which should be a nice trip.

During the following weeks I will often share my creative process with all of you, writing posts about the ongoing work, uploading bits of music for you to comment on, share videos and more. It’s going to be an interesting ride and I would love to have you there with me.

On a different note, I recently went back to the recordings of a duo tour with monstrously talented bassist Omer Avital, which we did in the summer of 2009, right after touring Italy together with Avital’s quintet. We played 5 concerts in Israel and recorded all of them. One evening was especially magical, a show at the ‘Zappa Herzliya’ club, and we are planning to release it as a live CD.

Incidentally, that show was also videotaped! Here is a clip of the duo playing “Shwaye Shwaye”, a composition of mine.

FYI, Shwaye Shwaye is an expression in Arabic meaning ‘slow down’, or ‘take it easy’ – always a good advice. Have a nice week!