Bar code: 8427328435772
"As a kid, I used to take trips to the west coast with my parents, visiting family friends and camping at national parks etc… This trio met in 2017, began playing gigs together and soon we had our first “West Coast Tour” at the end of 2017. We repeated the experience in 2018 with fewer mistakes and a deeper musical repertoire. Conner was there from the first trio tour and for the following tour as well. As a kind soul who appreciated the music, he drove us around in Southern California from gig to gig and offered us nice accommodations. He will always be directly associated in my mind with our west coast touring tradition."
"Drummer Ari Hoenig is a master of metric modulation, superimposing displaced rhythmic patterns and time signatures over preexisting ones. His books are the definitive texts on the subject. Nitai Hershkovits is an Israeli jazz pianist known for his collaboration with bassist Avishai Cohen while bassist Or Bareket has Latin and North African influences from his early life in Buenos Aires. The pair has the unusual ability to stay right with Hoenig as he bends and sculpts the pulse of the music.
The twisty time signatures on Hoenig’s title track display the trio’s sharpness immediately. Pretty slash chords vamp as off-beat triplets churn under Hershkovits’ delicate touch. Hoenig is wonderfully precise and never forceful with his music math. The delivery is relaxed, organic and in control. Staple Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II standard “All The Things You Are” gets an interesting 5/4 treatment, Hoenig dropping clipped drum and bass fills as sweet piano suspensions chime in contrast. In his deft solo, Bareket works a riff around sharp chord stabs from the offbeat team. Hershkovits picks up the vibe with some altered lines that build to a feverish pitch.
Even though his time-shifting is very heady stuff, Hoenig’s approach is always very melodic. “For Tracy” has washy rolled chords and a wonderfully lyrical melody; Hoenig’s beat is simple and just a touch elusive as it floats in and out of the bars until he rides out on a lovely indie back-beat jam. Gypsy folk and modern jazz intersect on “Figuration” with its descending bassline in 11. Cole Porter’s “All of You” puts 5 over 4 and swings hard in both. Hershkovits plays some minimal block chords that morph into, first, a surprise bugle call interlude, then a hard swinging solo that ends in ripping ascending thirds. The drum solo out is displaced funky R&B at its best. “Guernsey St. Gooseneck” is more hip-hop with snappy cross stick and stuttering hi-hat. Hoenig’s erudite solo over the tricky ostinato is one of the most exciting passages of the CD.
The trio moves effortlessly in and out of every time shift while sounding very relaxed, rare for such rhythmically dense music."
Brian Charette (September 1, 2019)
The New York City Jazz Record
"Blessed are those who have seen Rudolf Nureyev dance. Every muscle worked as the polished part of the perfect whole. His technical ability was unmatched but functioning solely as the groundwork of a flamboyant performance. Ari Hoenig is the Rudolf Nureyev of contemporary jazz drumming.
For his latest album, Conner’s Days, the drummer from New York City teamed up with pianist Nitai Hershkovits and bassist Or Bareket, who are equally adept at turning virtuosity into valid musical statements. Conner’s Days is piano-trio jazz 3.0. Shifting tempo, broken time, intricate polyrhythm, the intuitive melodic artistry of Max Roach and the energy of Robert Wyatt and Aynsley Dunbar are some of the ingredients of Hoenig’s recipe, enabling him to transform song into surprising experience, with the precision of a diamond cutter to boot. A repetitive krautrock beat divides sections of the uplifting Guernsey St Gooseneck. The integration of Anymore’s complexity and attractive folk song melody is a noteworthy crossover attempt. Figuration is a post-modern gypsy groove. Off-kilter metre, low, gloomy piano notes and delicate, bouncing snare rolls intensify Conner’s Days, a melody line that moves in a hypnotic spiral course.
Hoenig is a savvy and extraordinary interpreter of standards. Conner’s Days includes a number of masterful examples of his approach. Duke Ellington’s Prelude To A Kiss is a playground for Hoenig’s subtle and poised brush playing. It gels smoothly with the measured half-time playing by Herskovits, which adds a dreamy quality to Ellington’s lovely composition. Herskovits is flawless but doesn’t necessarily keep it tidy and neat. On account of his long-lined and quirky groove, Cole Porter’s All Of You is the song equivalent of the greasy sandwich, the calorie bomb with ketchup, shreds of cheddar cheese and the juice from Angus burger dripping down your chin.
The fragmented melodic parts of All The Things You Are leave a lot to the imagination. The classic vehicle for the giants of bebop, boosted by a slyly suggested backbeat, furthermore swings with crisp, relentless drive. All The Things You Are is a highlight of an altogether very impressive album.
It should only be a matter of time before Hoenig’s international reputation is on par with the stature of lauded, front-running contemporaries as Mark Turner and Ethan Iverson."
François Van de Linde (August 18, 2019)
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