Issi_rozen-red_sea_span3
July/August 1999

Issi Rozen
Red Sea
Brownstone Records

The annoying notes aim to convince us that Rozen’s Israeli background makes for an original approach, but he sounds like another Berklee grad to me. Granted, there are Middel-Easternish effects on a few tracks, and at his best Rozen uses these as points of departure effectively, combining his boxy sound and penchant for unusual phrasing with odd scales and slightly bent guitar strings. But the devices used are obvious compared with contemporaries who have gotten their teeth into Klezmer.

Originally published in July/August 1999
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