What has been called the “Israeli-New York City jazz movement” includes many talented players who have come onto the scene through Smalls, the club and the record label: Omer Avital, Avishai Cohen, Gilad Hekselman, Avi Leibovich and now pianist Omer Klein. He is probably the most ethnic musician in this group. The instrumentation of Klein’s quartet (bassist Avital, drummer Ziv Ravitz, percussionist Itamar Doari) implies jazz, and so does the music’s unrelenting energy. But Klein does not present open platforms for jazz improvisation. His tunes are closed circles. They sound like folk songs for the melting pot of the new millennium, with strong Middle Eastern and African elements.
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