The oud, a Middle Eastern lute, has never been a prominent instrument in jazz; in fact, it is safe to say that there are quite a few jazz musicians who have never heard of the oud and have no idea what it sounds like. But the oud is ultra-famous in traditional Arabic, Middle Eastern, and North African music, and it works pleasingly well as an avant-garde jazz instrument on Israeli pianist Yitzhak Yedid 's Suite in Five Movements . Recorded in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2006, this release finds Yedid forming a cohesive acoustic trio with oud player Mikhail Maroun and bassist Ora Boasson Horev -- and Yedid doesn't treat Maroun like a mere afterthought. Not at all. In fact, Yedid features Maroun extensively on this 72-minute CD, which is devoted to a five-movement suite that combines avant-garde jazz with Middle Eastern music and incorporates Euro-classical elements as well. The performances are not radically avant-garde, but they are mildly avant-garde -- and although Yedid has some Cecil Taylor-ish moments as a pianist, Suite in Five Movements is far from an exercise in atonal chaos. An inside/outside approach prevails that, for all its abstraction, is still decidedly musical. Suite in Five Movements is not an easy recording to absorb on the first listen, but the more one listens to Yedid , Maroun , and Horev 's performances, the more he/she appreciates all of the intriguing twists and turns that go into them. Thoughtfulness and a healthy sense of adventure are both major assets on this excellent disc. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
- May 13, 2008
- Yitzhak Yedid
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