Eden Bareket (bs), Or Bareket (b), Felix Lecaros (d)
Bar code: 8427328435000
01. Jenga 3:40
02. Raccoon 5:24
03. Choice 6:43
04. Unfinished Business 5:11
05. Arguing with Myself 3:32
06. The Last One 5:23
07. Camel 4:30
08. Diphthong 6:23
09. Don't Give Up 6:57
All tracks composed and arranged by Eden Bareket, except #9 written by Peter Gabriel
Eden Bareket (baritone sax), Or Bareket (bouble bass), Felix Lecaros (drums).
Recorded, mixed & mastered at Bacqué Recording Engineering, Roxelle, New Jersey, on June 26th, 2015
Engineered by Luis Bacqué
Produced by Eden Bareket
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol
”If you’re missing the sounds of Gerry Mulligan, don’t look much further than baritone sax player Eden Bareket. He leads a lithe and lyrical trio with Or Bareket/b and Felix Lecaros/dr through 8 originals and a moving read of Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up.” Bareket’s tone is warm and smooth, able to get rich and deep sounds that never sound indulgent while keeping melodious as on “Camel” and “Choice.” The entire album has a pastoral atmosphere, with gently flowing moods as on “Jenga” and “Diphthong” always able to swing with aplomb and grace. Bassist Bareket keeps the pulse rich and textured as on “Racoon” and Lecaros’ drums glide on the ice like the Montreal Canadians. Very alluring.”
George W. Harris (August 25, 2016)
”Eden Bareket makes sure his trio has plenty of room to groove on the June 17 recording, Choice. The Argentinian-born Israeli baritone saxophonist takes his time to get to the point, but the musical pathways he and his sidemen travel on make the destination less important than the ride. Bareket is new to the New York City jazz scene. But with grounded playing like this, that won’t last long. He works plenty as an in-demand sideman, as do his trio’s drummer Felix Lecaros and double bassist Or Bareket.
Out just a short two weeks, Choice has already received favorable attention from several go-to music publications. All About Jazz’s Karl Ackermann found Eden Bareket’s playing and composing worth writing about.
“He uses the full capability of the baritone, sounding a range that approximates everything from bass clarinet, to tenor sax to the low deep rumbling most often associated with the instrument. What this group — and Bareket in particular — lack in a current portfolio, is more than made up for with the promise of this outstanding debut. [June 9]”
Mike Jurkovic in the June 17 issue of Elmore Magazine dug the bass player’s “bluesy, after-hours renderings. One of New York’s leading young guns on horn, Bareket may have written eight (number nine being a somber reading of Peter Gabriel’s soul-stirring ‘Don’t Give Up’) but it’s bassist Or Bareket who steers the ship. His bluesy, after-hours renderings and nimble theory of melody and bedrock create and shift the shape that E. Bareket’s lyrical riffs, dark groans and breathy pleas and time defiant drummer Felix Lecaros free roam upon.”
In the Hot House Jazz Guide: “This notably minimalist and unfussy instrumentation is utilized to the group's advantage as the trio unveils a set of sparsely funky, often dark-hued to grooves, all while stretching out their positions into very open territory.”
Eden Bareket’s influences come into play in the nine songs. There’s the smooth, even big band tones of “The Last One.” Naturally, the bari sax player is a regular in the Eyal Vilner Big-Band. Then there’s the bent of “Camel,” perhaps a direct reflection of his work with the Ari Hoenig Nonet. Bareket syncopates a slightly uneven but persistent network of tone-defiant fibers throughout, on the verge of an ambulance siren at times, then back in characteristic form, punctuating an invisible rhythmic structure with just a few choice, directional notes. Bareket also derives influences from the Anbessa Orchestra’s Ethiopian jazz. There’s a lot of that in the effortlessly cool, “Diphthong,” but prolonged for full effect.
You’d think all that room to groove would leave this trio at a loss for words. Yes, they do tend to take their time on the notes. But what they light upon makes for some fantastic jazz action.
When Eden Bareket goes off, “Diphthong” becomes his private thumping ground. With drummer Lecaros giving the signal, the baritone says more than a mouthful in a spectacular solo that moves over rough terrain that only he can see.
Even the slower numbers have juice. The loping, morose 1986 Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush song, “Don’t Give Up,” is another matter in the trio’s capable hands. Bareket goes in on his horn to exact even more meaning, beyond the nitty-gritty woes of a proud, blue-collar, family man, acting as the vocalist, the musician, the narrator, and maybe even the empathic eye of God. His horn work shows the undercurrent of fate at hand in giving this man a renewed sense of hope.
Eden Bareket produced and arranged the debut recording. Hopefully, there's more coming, because this stuff is grand."
Carol Banks Weber -July 1, 2016
Eden Bareket is a newcomer to the New York City music scene. After his debut, trio jazz album makes the rounds, he won’t be scratching at the entrance door for long. The Argentine-born, Israeli baritone saxophonist and composer’s Choice on Fresh Sound Records is both spare and voluminous, thoughtful and action-oriented, borrowing from a thousand different sources, yet enfolded under one provocative course of original jazz.
Bareket, his bassist brother Or Bareket, and drummer Felix Lecaros make quite a trio on the June 17, 2016 recording. Choice has done well with critics and jazz fans in New York, so far.
But so far, there isn’t much out there about this original voice in jazz, save his affiliation as an essential side man with the Eyal Vilner Big Band, Ari Hoenig Orchestra, Anbessa Orchestra, and Kami Maltz.
AXS rectified that situation with this exclusive interview, taken yesterday.
AXS: Where did the name Eden Bareket come from? Does it mean anything special? It’s very unusual in America.
Eden Bareket: It's not so unusual in Israel. Eden, pronounced eh-den, literally means the same thing as in English. It comes from the garden of Eden. Bareket, pronounced bah-reh-ket, means emerald, like the gemstone. It's a last name my grandfather came up with when he was young, like many other new immigrants who wanted a fresh start in the new land of Israel back then.
AXS: Of all the instruments at your disposal, you chose a pretty rare one to make your own, the baritone sax. What made you go for baritone over the crowd favorite, tenor, alto, or even soprano?
EB: I started on alto like most kids. When I was about 15, the music teacher at my high school told me he needed a bari sax player for a saxophone quartet he had at this other school. I could get their old beaten-up bari for the whole year if I'd do it. After trying it once, I really liked it, so I went for it. After the year was over, I went and got my own horn, which is the same one I use to this day.
AXS: What unique challenges do you face in playing the deeper registers of the baritone sax, and how do you adjust to bring out such fluidity in your music?
EB: The lower register definitely takes a lot of air to produce. Through the years, I've found the right set-up with the reed and the mouthpiece that makes it easier for me.
But most of all, it takes practice to figure out what sounds good on this instrument and how to use the challenges it poses to be more creative. Which is also why I really love playing it.
AXS: You say you’re a relative newcomer to New York’s jazz scene. What was it like when you first landed in the big city, ready to play? It must’ve been overwhelming.
EB: I had a bit of an unusual path to New York. I didn't come here for school like most of my friends, so I basically got on a flight and hoped for the best. The first few months were rough, emotionally and physically. But I made a deal with myself that I will survive the first year before I decide if I'm staying. By the end of the first year, I felt like there is no other place I'd rather be. Musically, I felt ready coming here, but really it's impossible to be ready since there are so many variables. When I asked people who have been living here for a while about what I should do, I got a lot of contradicting advice. Eventually, I decided I should be myself and do what makes me feel good, for better and for worse.
AXS: How is New York’s (America) music scene different from where you came from?
EB: I can't say much about America as a whole, but as far as New York goes, it's really hard to compare. First of all, it's like a thousand times bigger. In Israel, I knew about 90 percent of the musicians in my scene by the time I was 18. In New York, it's not possible to know even half the people, plus they keep changing, which is another great thing. I get to hear and hang out with the best musicians in the world, I get to know people from all over the world. There's really nothing that comes close to that anywhere else. As an artist, I feel really lucky to be here at this time.
AXS: Is Choice your first record? What did you want to say on this debut recording?
EB: I had some non-official recording sessions back in Israel that were published online, but I consider this to be my first "real" album, something I really worked on with that in mind. I mainly wanted to present myself on this album, something that will be very personal and almost bare. I hoped that if you'd listen to this album you can get the feeling that you've just met me personally. It's not so much about meeting me, it's more about meeting another human being. I guess I was looking to create a kind of musical intimacy.
AXS: What made you go with a trio format for this record, and what makes the musicians who are playing with you so great?
EB: I liked the trio first of all, because there's a lot of space, which is a kind of sound that I like to have. It helps create that intimate feeling I was talking about.
Second of all, it works better with the baritone sax, since you have kind of a continuity from the range of the double bass to that of the bari sax. Adding another instrument in that register can make it a little muddy.
The musicians who are playing with me are really great! Or Bareket is my brother as our last name implies. We've been playing together for our entire lives, so there's really no one who can play my music better. I write some challenging bass parts that I know he can play. Not all bass players can, but, as some people have noticed, the bass is really in the heart of my music, so I really try to expand upon the traditional use of the instrument.
Felix Lecaros is really one of my favorite drummers. Unlike my bass parts, I like letting him develop the drum parts and he's really adding his personality to my music. He's also great for this band, because he can play soft without losing intensity. I'm really lucky to have these guys play with me.
AXS: A lot of your playing is minimal in the background, yet brimming over with lyrical ideas in the way you flood your notes on sax. How would you describe your style, and how do you know you’re on the right track when performing?
EB: I'm glad you say that, because I've been working on playing less for a while now. My natural tendency is to play a lot, probably too much. It comes from practicing the saxophone so much so you kind of feel like you have to use your abilities all the time. But I'm really trying to play less and have it mean more; it's very similar to having a conversation, you can use a lot of words to describe something but sometimes you can convey more feeling with less words, leave some space. I really don't know how to describe my playing style, "minimal yet brimming with lyrical ideas" sounds pretty good to me!
When I'm performing, I know I'm on the right track when I'm completely in the moment, when after I play a song, I feel as though I just woke up from a dream.
AXS: There’s also a lot of in-depth knowledge of the diverse, exotic styles you take on in this new record. How much of your heritage, where you were born, where you grew up, strengthened your knowledge so that when you come to play, you play effortlessly and authentically?
EB: If you go back in my family tree, in the last few generations, people have moved a lot. From Poland and Morocco to Argentina then to Israel and from Iraq and Eastern Europe to Israel. So I'm not really sure how I would define my heritage.
As far as music goes, as a small child, I was mostly exposed to whatever was popular at the time. My father first got me into some of the "unpopular" music I later studied more deeply. It was more like getting a key to a door than being immersed in some kind of traditional music or heritage.
I was buying my own CDs since I was 10 years old. I started from jazz since I was playing the saxophone. From there, I went on to explore any type of music I could get my hands on, until eventually with the Internet and streaming services, I got my hands on basically all of recorded music ever, which keeps me busy these days.
I think the most important knowledge regarding playing authentically is knowing what music is, its importance and meaning throughout history.
AXS: What are some of the themes, if any, you touch upon in your original compositions?
EB: Mostly reflections of experiences, a lot of inner world kind of personal emotional experiences, but also some compositions in which I try to describe daily situations like arguing and seeing animals, which is I guess also an inner-world experience in a sense.
AXS: Now that you’ve gotten Choice out of your system, what’s next? Are you doing any shows in support of the new album?
EB: We just had a great tour in Peru, and a great release concert in New York. I have a couple more shows in New York. Next one is on Aug. 6 at Cornelia Street Café, as part of an Israeli jazz festival. There are a few more things in the works for this year and the next. Another album is also in the horizon...
AXS: What’s been the reception so far? Looks good.
EB: So far, people seem to like it! I like to see how each person reacts differently and likes different songs. It's a nice feeling to have something you created getting a life of its own.
AXS: What about performing and recording gives you happiness?
EB: First of all, it just feels good! For some reason, it's really fun. I think it’s very satisfying to feel that you’re using your full capabilities as a human being. Everything has to work together in a really special way to make music: Intellect, emotion, your body with all the fine motor skills involved, communication within your band and with the audience. It's really like your whole being is in tune with itself. So obviously, it feels good.
AXS: What do you get out of playing jazz that you don’t get out of anything else?
EB: Honestly I wouldn't know. I do play other types of music and I enjoy that very much as well. But I'll have to try all the other things to give you a real answer!
AXS: If you couldn’t do jazz, what other line of work would you be interested in?
EB: I can actually see myself doing a lot of other things, really like anything that involves constant studying. It's weird to me that people just know how to do something and then they keep doing it over and over again without evolving.
AXS: Tell us something nobody knows about you.
EB: I'm not sure if there is such a thing. But if there's something that nobody knows about me, it's probably for a good reason!
Carol Banks Weber -July 11, 2016
"Choice, is a no-fuss, no muss Eden Bareket led sax trio that sets up a lean, smoky vibe from the first note and not only sustains it, but builds upon it, throughout it’s nine feisty, winding grooves.
One of New York’s leading young guns on horn, Bareket may have written eight (number nine being a somber reading of Peter Gabriel’s soul-stirring “Don’t Give Up”) but it’s bassist Or Bareket who steers the ship. His bluesy, after-hours renderings and nimble theory of melody and bedrock create and shift the shape that E. Bareket’s lyrical riffs, dark groans and breathy pleas and time defiant drummer Felix Lecaros free roam upon.
If you want a taste of what those dusky downtown, under the street, maximum seating capacity fifteen people joints are like, take a good listen to everything here, especially “Unfinished Business,” “Arguing with Myself,” the vital lope of “Camel” and the frenzied bop of “Dipthong.” Each song seems to have its own little ring to it, making the album as a whole very unique and tasteful."
Mike Jurkovic –June 17, 2016
“Each of the nine pieces on Choice, the 2016 recording by musician and baritone saxophonist Eden Bareket are a feast for the performer and the listener alike. The Argentinian-born, Israeli-bred writes in a style that is at once accessible and hefty, clearly structured and full of fantasy. His eight compositions performed here – the ninth is by Peter Gabriel – certainly become his profound growl of his baritone saxophone. Clearly Bareket has an uncommon knack for moulding works of vital expressive content. He is also skilled in the stylistic practices of the baritone saxophone, inventive in terms of rhythmic displacement and unusual turns of phrase. The music for his baritone as well as the bellow of the double bass (and drums) ranges from languid ballads and stately-sounding tunes to lilting, rousing dancing melodies. Bareket can also be adventurous with chromatic flights, intriguing dissonances and harmonic suspensions that take the ear on fascinating journeys.
Eden Bareket’s writing, especially for his own instrument, challenges his own dexterity and control, and surely does likewise for its interpreters – bassist Or Bareket and drummer Felix Lecaros as well. But the musicians are in command wherever the music travels. Their playing is the essence of refinement, with every phrase and balance carefully considered. Or Bareket applies subtle elegance to contrabass duties and Felix Lecaros is shapely and sensitive on drums. Their job of anchoring melodies and harmonies is undertaken with restrained authority. ‘Choice’ lives up to its title in the way that the thematic images evolve throughout the score. Works such as ‘Camel’ and ‘Diphthong’ reveals scores of vibrant design whose rhythmic vivacity and thematic unfoldings are matched by an atmospheric sense of sonority.
Music for baritone saxophone usually requires the services of an artist who can tame the formidable technical beasts and bring colourful delineation to a multiplicity of moods and textures. Eden Bareket is just such a musician. His performance is crisply articulate, rich in contrasting hues and attentive to the panoply of significant gestures. It is exactly this ability that makes Bareket best suited for the instrument. Add to this fact that he is also a composer of notable inventiveness and magnetism. For the baritone saxophonist it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Raul da Gama –August 1, 2016