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The Alon Farber Hagiga Quintet: Exposure

Filled with delightful surprises, Alon Farber’s Exposure offers fresh takes on a variety of idioms from the spacey program music of “Illusions Swamp” to the funk of “Monkeys” to the exotic sound of “Mi Ze Itzik?” to the “Lonely Woman” paean “A Chat With Ornette.” Farber’s compositions for his Israeli ensemble of two altos (or soprano and alto), guitar, bass and drums show an appealing originality. His melodic line over the funky beat of “Monkeys,” for example, is simultaneously simple and rhythmically sophisticated. And his “Mi Ze Itzik?” opens with an out-of-tempo ensemble introduction that leads to a Middle Eastern folk-sounding section over which the leader superimposes his dancing postbop soprano. Indeed, throughout the album, Farber demonstrates a facile command of his instruments and of the postbop idiom.

Altoist Hagai Amir’s playing, as illustrated on the racing “Run, Itzik, Run,” is similar in style and quality to Farber’s, and guitarist Uzi Finerman exhibits an impressive ability to develop long lines out of simple melodic figures. Guest trumpeter Avishai Cohen appears on three tracks, and he solos in a personal, cliche-free manner. Drummer Dani Benedikt and bassist Tal Ronen round out the solid rhythm section.

Originally Published