Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Ori Dagan: Less Than Three

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Actually, the album’s title is <3, the emoticon that symbolizes the heart. Love is indeed abundant across these 10 tracks, extending from the ancestral pull of "Eretz Zavat Chalav" and the companion plea for peace "Nu Az Ma?," penned by Dagan, to the irresistible pulchritude of "Sweet Georgia Brown" and tender devotion of Elton John's "Your Song." Amor even figures into the peppy "Googleable," a paean to the search engine's ubiquity; it includes the fact that googling "love" nets two trillion results.
Though the disc runs a scant 34 minutes, Dagan packs it with plenty of interpretive punch. His “Strangers in the Night” gallops with frantic urgency. Conversely, Madonna’s ebullient “Lucky Star” is reimagined as an inky ballad, ideally suited to Dagan’s roguish bass-baritone. He takes the fiery foreplay of Evita‘s “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You” and, with exquisite assistance from Jane Bunnett on soprano sax, transforms its devilish lure into near-angelic yearning. Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” ignites a brief but rigorous display of his considerable scat skills. And, perhaps most ingenious, “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” is stripped bare of Elvis’ throbbing desire and remodeled as a delicate valentine.

Originally Published