Reference: FSRCD 5115
Bar code: 8427328651158
"Lena Bloch, a strikingly original tenor-saxophonist who is also a skilled composer, focuses on the subject of exile during her recent CD Rose Of Lifta. Born in Russia, she spent periods living in Israel and Germany before settling in Brooklyn in 2008, so she knows what it is like to live in many different lands and to feel some longing for each of the imperfect situations.
Rose Of Lifta, which consists of seven originals by either Bloch or pianist Russ Lossing, forms a suite that is interpreted by the two composers, bassist Cameron Brown, and drummer Billy Mintz. “Promise Of Return” sounds very much like music from the Middle East but performed by an improvising jazz quartet. “Mad Mirror” begins with Bloch’s unaccompanied tenor utilizing a phrase and building off of it before the full group joins in the construction of the piece. “New Home” is melancholy and a bit brooding. “Climbing Rose Of Lifta” (Lifta is an Arab village in Israel that has a long history of struggle) is about a quiet battle for survival.
“Old Home,” while containing a little bit of nostalgia, is a reflection about the place’s past and probable future; it has one of the strongest piano solos of the program. “Mahmoud Darwish” is a dirge written in remembrance of the late Palestinian poet that is full of mournful passion. The episodic “Wintry Mix” returns to the mood of the opening “Promise Of Return,” realistic but hopeful.
While there are many fine individual solos from Lena Bloch and Russ Lossing, the emphasis throughout Rose Of Lifta is on the sound of the ensemble, the strong compositions, and the honest moods."
—Scott Yanow (October, 2021)
Los Angeles Jazz Scene
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