David Ashkenazy

Out with It

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David Ashkenazy's second CD as a leader is a bit more eclectic than his first. Joined by the in-demand organist Gary Versace (who is frequently a bandleader himself), guitarist Gilad Hekselman, and tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, the drummer covers a lot of stylistic ground, starting with Wayne Shorter's rarely recorded “Children of the Night," which proves to be an excellent individual showcase for each of the players. Some of the more adventurous choices include the Beatles' seeming unpromising “I Want You (He's So Heavy)" and klezmer bandleader Chava Alberstein's “Bokserboym." Ashkenazy turns the pop hit into a wild blend of funk accented with humorous blasts from sax, organ, and guitar in unpredictable places, while the drummer adapts a darker tone for the klezmer song. The intricate interplay in the old warhorse “Too Young to Go Steady" is amazing. Ashkenazy's two originals also demonstrate an adventurous spirit. It's clear that the musicians had a lot of fun on this wide-ranging session.

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