Assaf Kehati: Flowers and Other Stories

One of the great thing about today’s globalized jazz scene is that musicians from other countries and other cultures are stretching by weaving in the rhythms, tonal colors and sensibilities of their homelands. Jazz is all the richer for it. This second recording as a leader by Israeli-born guitarist Assaf Kehati is one such project. Kehati is based in Boston and has been working with the quartet featured on Flowers and Other Stories for five years. (He also leads a trio featuring veteran drummer Billy Hart.)

On this project, the quartet teams Kehati with saxophonist Alon Ferber, bassist Daniel Sapir and drummer Udi Shlomo performing seven of the guitarist’s original compositions. From the opening bar of “Calling Me Home,” the CD’s extended opener, you’ll savor the exotic-sounding intimacy of this group. Kehati and Farber play as if there’s one musical mind at work. The rhythmic surprises on “Mr. Mario” are equally intriguing. There is a lot to savor here. The reflective ballads “The Most Beautiful Flower” and “The Snow and the Sun” are filled with beauty.