Bar code: 8427328424806
When it comes to originality and sheer virtuosic talent, few guitar players can compete with NewYork based jazz sensation Rotem Sivan. His trio has a casual, elegant way of presenting extremely intricate musical ideas. It takes a unique talent to create jazz music that is both approachable and personal yet effortlessly complex and deep. Rotem Sivan has succeeded in doing so with his trio, by fusing jazz with classical, Mediterranean and folk.
Sivans latest release A New Dance, comes out on Fresh Sound New Talent, featuring Haggai Cohen-Milo on bass and Colin Stranahan on drums. The new album introduces a new urban-nomadic sound that echoes flavors of the different places the trio has ventured to while on tour.
Rotem Sivan's fresh mind, unique vision and exceptional chops have already caught the attention of big names such as Peter Bernstein, Ari Hoenig and Ben Street, who have shared the stage with Sivan, in captivating performances on numerous occasions. The trio has performed in world-class venues such as the Blue Note, Birdland, Smalls, as well as various festivals and clubs worldwide. Performing regularly throughout Europe and the Americas the Trio's engaging musical language transcends cultural borders.
For an ensemble that so effortlessly ventures into uncharted musical territories, it should not be taken lightly that this is their most exploratory album yet.
Israeli guitarist Sivan, a significant newcomer on the instrument, plays with elegance and moderation while never disguising the energy and eventfulness lying beneath. His restraint is also evident in his use of sound effects. But when giving his colleagues due prominence he is liberal, as when Cohen-Milo's bass looks after the melody of Angel Eyes or makes the smoothest of smooth entrances on I Wish You Were Here.
Good taste is evenly applied to both jazz standards and Sivan's compositions. Any feeling of suppression really comes from the trio's tight formal control, which doesn’t stop Sivan from taking off with the distortion pedal and introducing other colours by further technical means. These changes distinguish him from Pat Metheny, from whom the trio's otherwise uniform temperament and surface calm mainly derive. When Stranahan proves as restless as Sivan in the opened-up sections of One For Aba it becomes obvious how far Sivan is also distancing himself from other mainstream jazz guitar influences. He takes technical invention even further by playing behind the nut and high on the fretboard in seeking “heterophonic” African elements for Monk's In Walked Bud, a tune against whose straightforward bass line he goes for broke, employing the Pog pedal for further high-register transformation.
There are moving moments here, not least on the two tracks incorporating respectively vocalist Wright and tenor saxophonist Tzur. Their fleeting deployment is another instance of Sivan's judging matters nicely.
Nigel Jarrett, Jazz Journal (November 2015)
"Con Hekselman, Rotem Sivan condivide l'origine israeliana e la giovane età anagrafica, oltre alla freschezza interpretativa e all'estrema pulizia timbrica. A New Dance è il suo terzo album, realizzato in trio come i precedenti, qui con il bassista Haggai Cohen Milo e il batterista Colin Stranahan.
Il suo approccio non convenzionale è evidente già dalla sua interpretazione dei tre standard inclusi nel CD, "Angel Eyes," il monkiano "In Walked Bud" e "I Fall in Love Too Easily," quest'ultimo con il notevole intervento del sassofonista Oded Tzur, che nelle sue mani si trasformano drasticamente in qualcosa di nuovo.
Anche le composizioni originali denotano personalità e originalità, mentre gli assoli mostrano padronanza della tecnica e eleganza nell'esecuzione. Un altro nome da seguire da vicino."
Mario Cavitti (January 25, 2016)
"The crisp swing of the Rotem Sivan Trio is a genuine pleasure on A New Dance. Guitarist Sivan is joined by bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Colin Stranahan plus a couple of guests for a program of original compositions, a Monk tune and a pair of standards. The title track gets the proceedings off to a fine start, with drummer Stranahan making his presence felt in the wide dynamics of the piece. It starts out as a quiet but insistent groove, than builds naturally as Sivan takes off on a far-ranging solo with hints of Frisell and Scofield in his approach. Before it’s over, the listener has a strong sense of what this trio is about: dynamic interplay, accessible melodies, and tightly knit spirit. Sivan’s clean, bell-like tone largely cedes the bottom of the band’s sound almost entirely to Cohen-Milo’s prominent bass. Dig their ingenious arrangement of Monk’s In Walked Bud where the two split the head between them before Sivan embarks on an exciting and adventurous solo. It’s a great take on one of Monk’s friendlier pieces. Angel Eyes is treated to an upbeat and energetic rendition that takes the well-known tune to some unusual places bookended by melodic solos from Cohen-Milo.
Among Sivan’s originals, his bittersweet ballad I Wish You Were Here is particularly fine, with its gorgeous melody stroked by tender guitar and bass solos and Stranahan’s supple brush work in support. The hard swinging Fingerprints is another highlight, a sinuous line with unusual accents that inspires an intensely focused performance. The disc’s one misstep comes with Almond Tree, a short song featuring guest vocalist Daniel Wright harmonizing with himself via overdubbing on a piece that sounds like it drifted in from another project all together. The session’s other guest spot, by tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur on a curiously slow version of I Fall In Love Too Easily, is more successful, ending the session with a deeply felt performance that lingers in the mind. Definitely recommended."
"Spain-based Fresh Sound Records keeps its finger on the jazz pulse for nascent talents, and this album by guitarist Rotem Sivan shows the benefits of hard detective work. Hes got a warm tone on his guitar, and uses it well with Haggai Cohen-Milo/b and Colin Stranahan/dr for a mix of covers and originals. Of the former, Sivans guitar chimes well with Cohen-Milos deep bass on Angel Eyes while the oblique Fingerprints has some sly cymbal pulsations driven by Stranahan and In Walked Bud bops along playfully. Sivans tactile sense is impressive as a foil to Stranahans sticks on One For Aba and shows romantic and reflective impulses on spacious material such as Yam and I Wish You Were Here. Daniel Wright provides some poetic vocals on Almond tree and Oded Tzurs sax sighs on I Fall In Love Too Easily, rounding out an impressive and subtly swinging session."
George W. Harris (November 2, 2015)