Uri Gurvich: The Storyteller

An Israeli-born alto saxophonist-composer who studied with Joe Lovano at Berklee, Uri Gurvich blends sinuous Middle Eastern lines and snippets of Hebraic folk melodies with thoughtful harmonies and brawny rhythms on his Tzadik debut. Joined by an outstanding crew of bassist Peter Slavov, free-spirited drummer Francisco Mela and marvelous pianist Leo Genovese, Gurvich presents a compelling and strikingly original program that is imbued with beautiful, soulful melodies and brimming with ecstatic improvisation. Tenor saxophonist Chris Cheek appears as a special guest on three tracks: the surging “Ani Ma’amin” and entrancing “Oasis” (both of which feature Genovese on Fender Rhodes), and the dramatic “Joseph the Storyteller.”