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Assif Tsahar

Assif Tsahar

Between his long improvisations, running the Hopscotch record label and playing in many projects, it’s amazing that tenor saxophonist Assif Tsahar gets a chance to catch a breath. “I’m overreaching” Tsahar says, “but it’s not easy for me to slow down.”

A stalwart of New York City improv scene, the Tel Aviv-born Tsahar has had an extraordinary past year, releasing four CDs for his label, from the solo sax record Ayn Le-Any to the trio session Ma to Embracing the Void by his improv-heavy big band the Zoanthropic Orchestra to the debut of his string-heavy, saxophone-free ensemble New York Underground Orchestra on The Labyrinth (for which he composes but does not perform). Tsahar’s Hopscotch discs are very personal events, as he not only is responsible for the music but also the liner notes, artwork and packaging design. “It’s very satisfying. The [label] reflects me, and it’s worth the effort,” Tsahar says. “It’s part of the history and sociology of this music. More people should be doing it.”

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