I was expecting a European sounding band with a lot of classical references. What I got was a great jazz big band that swung like crazy, and more.
Yossi Itskovitch – Times
Yossi Itskovitch – Trombone; Sam Barnett – Saxophone; Charlie Rose – Saxophone; Nadav Erlich – Double Bass; Oscar Latorre – Trumpet; Iannis Oboils – Piano; Marton Juhasz – Drums; Fabio Guovea – Guitar; Tatiana Nova – Vocals
I wasn’t prepared for what I heard on Yossi Itskovitch’s octet debut, TIMES. The press release said he was a big part of the classical world before he studied jazz in New York. I was expecting a European sounding band with a lot of classical references. What I got was a great jazz big band that swung like crazy, and more.
Yossi Itskovitch was born in Israel, graduated from Juilliard, and ended up working as the principal bass trombone player with an orchestra in Spain. Yossi composed the music for TIMES, played a lot of trombone and led seven other amazing band members.
Nadav Erlich’s bass gives a gorgeous intro to ’40 Years. ’The title comes from the 40 years it took for the Israelites to get from ancient Egypt to Kanan. The song has a mideastern sound to it and Yossi said he borrowed elements from Bartok when he wrote it.
Yossi Itskovitch shows off his trombone skills on the highly chromatic ‘Accordion.’ His technique is flawless. This band has two great saxophone players and Sam Barnett’s solo on ‘Accordion ’is jaw-dropping. Iannis Oboils adds a great piano solo as well.
Tatiana Nova guest vocals on ‘Altars.’ She sings the words to Austin Rodenbiker’s poem of the same name. Her voice is so in tune with the horn section. She does this call and response with them.. It sounds like they’ve been playing together forever. Tatiana is a Russian singer based in Germany. Like Yossi Itskovitch she comes with a classical pedigree.
‘Keith ’has a hard bop big band feel. Oscar Latorre’s trumpet solo reminds me of Woody Shaw or maybe Freddie Hubbard. I love the sound of Fabio Guovea’s guitar. It’s melodic plus he’s got this sophisticated command of harmony.
‘Yesterlives ’is structured a little bit like Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays.” It’s dreamier, hazy, and then Yossi comes in with another phenomenal solo. It sounds like both parts of the tune were put together in different time periods.
This is Yossi Itskovitch’s first recording. He’s such a great trombonist. I would love to hear him in a quartet or quintet setting. Whatever he decides to do I’m looking forward to following his career. For Now, TIMES will be getting a lot of play at my house.