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The Big Takeover Issue #94
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Oded Tzur - Isabela (ECM)

11 May 2022

Born in Tel Aviv, reborn through the sonic mantra of Indian ragas, and born again in New York City, saxophonist Oded Tzur explores the cosmopolitan nature of spiritual jazz on his fourth album Isabela. Along with pianist Nitai Hershkovitz, bassist Petros Klampanis and drummer Johnathan Blake, Tzur takes meditative melodies and stretches them over a loom of deeply emotional contemplation, subtly threading Middle Eastern and Indian subtleties into the fabric of the blues and Western classical music. The band interactions, textures and tunes draw the listener in with repeated spins, inviting contemplation more than cheers, though, as will most jazz, there’s way too much going on for this to be new age aural wallpaper. Powered by gently skittering rhythms, busy pianistics and Tzur’s lush tone, “The Lion Turtle,” “Noam” and “Love Song For the Rainy Season” encourage deep listening and platonic engagement, presenting one composer’s map of the soul and proposing we find our own in these notes and chords. Born, reborn, and born again.