Yoron Israel

A Gift for You

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Drummer Yoron Israel takes some solo space on his Freelance CD but it is his stimulating accompaniment that is most noteworthy. In addition to five of Israel's originals, the repertoire includes Jymie Merritt's catchy "Nommo" (the bassist's "greatest hit") and selections by Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Jack DeJohnette in addition to the standard "You Go to My Head." Due to the shifting personnel, there is a great deal of variety on the set. Vibraphonist Bryan Carrott (who plays as free in spots as a young Bobby Hutcherson) is a major asset, guitarist Ed Cherry (whose best-known association was with Dizzy Gillespie) is quite impressive during the two songs where he switches from electric guitar to his more distinctive acoustic playing, Lance Bryant (on both tenor and soprano) displays both versatility and an appealing improvising style and bassist John Lockwood is loose yet also the glue that holds the music together. Trumpeter Phillip Harper (who has improved quite a bit since his Harper Brothers days), altoist Donald Harrison and (on one song) pianist James Williams are all welcome guests. A well-conceived and highly recommended postbop disc.

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