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Omer Avital: Suite of the East

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Duke Ellington made Far East Suite in 1966. Omer Avital’s Suite of the East was recorded in 2006 but not released until now. The differences between the two albums reveal how the jazz art form evolved over 40 years.

Far East Suite is sophisticated orchestral American jazz with exotic colorations and subtle inflections drawn from Ellington’s exposure to Eastern cultures on a State Department tour. Avital’s album is a deep organic fusion of Middle Eastern and North African music with current cutting-edge jazz. It is not coincidental that Avital’s band contains both Israelis (the bassist-leader, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, pianist Omer Klein) and Americans (tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, drummer Daniel Freedman). Jazz has globalized.

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