Assaf Kehati – Naked (2013)

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Some thoughts of mine re: Assaf Kehati’s new recording Naked yet to be released. To me the essence of any jazz performance is to have your audience pat their feet and smile. I found myself patting my foot — but not smiling.

This record is a Bouillabaisse of tonality, highly reminiscent to me of cats like Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall and their like. Thrown in to this mix are many Hebraic scales and modes, time signature changes and tempo modifications. BUT!: The music and the musicians NEVER lose their original intent that is made apparent from the opening notes, and that intent bodes very well in the sum total of the complete work.

As I further listened, I began to realize that sensitivity abounds with this cat Assaf Kehati. He plays with a subtle, cerebral execution of tone, mood and swing. I might add at this time that I found my self not only patting my foot, but smiling. I will add at this point that Assaf has a very personal voice and to his credit never varies; that is not to say that it’s an emotional flat line — no, not at all! Because not only did I smile and tap my foot at times, I also found myself wiping away a tear or two. So, there you have it!

Those who know me also know that I am not easily impressed. This album impressed me! The opening bars of the blues track harkened me to early Ray Charles — even Guitar Slim and cats like that. No, not in sound, but in the feeling of a real organic blues shout that prevailed in the early days, something rarely ever captured by anyone that wasn’t born and raised here in the USA. Assaf nailed it!

All in all this record album portends of things yet to come. The music — as well as one who helped pave the way for future generations (practitioners, if you will, of same) — makes me feel that all of the personal dues that me and my many brothers in the art paid were not paid in vain.

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Visit Assaf Kehati’s website for more info.

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss is a bebop-oriented clarinet player with 11 albums as a leader. During his teens, Weiss studied with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra's Antonio Remondi, and later soloed on several TV programs with the Freddie Martin Orchestra, aka “The Band of Tomorrow.” Since a return to music in 2001, he has worked with Joey DeFrancesco, Dave Carpenter, Roy McCurdy, Luther Hughes, Bill Cunliffe and the late Sam Most. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mort Weiss
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