Latest output from 34-year old Israeli pianist Yaron Herman is, above all, a duo album with his longtime musical partner, Ziv Ravitz on drums and percussions. Yaron, who lives in France, manages to let the thirteen songs on his album sound like it is at least a full trio, though. Listen to “Points Of You” where you hardly miss the bass; it is an adventurous song full of dynamics and energy.
Contrapuntal elements find their way into various songs here; the bewildered “Nettish” with its repetitive chords is becoming an adhesive little number. Repetition is also a topic on “City Lights”, a ruminative 3-minute plus observation. Some of his Israeli influences and backgrounds seem to pop up here and there, like in the fast and furious title track which is leaning towards rock in its final moments.
But his influences are varied and scattered; from classical to indie, from jazz to pop to rock. The beautiful melody of “Five Trees” deploys some characteristically classical shades; the solo piano piece is a masterly example of modern solo piano playing. But there can be very different aspects as well: Yaron produced the track “Volcano” with Björk producer Valgeir Sigurdsson which features the otherworldly voice of Helgi Jonsson. The alternative-pop indie only adheres to the broad styles of this album, reinforced by the inclusion of an Alexander Scriabin composition which seems a little lost at its sequence on the album and is too short.
In the equally short “Children Don’t Always Play Fair”, I can easily see malicious children who destroy the favorite toy of their friends. Yaron also includes James Blake‘s “Retrograde” and adds some lightness and abstraction at the same time. His own mystic vocals on the pop-oriented and inventive “18:26” close out the pianist’s Blue Note debut.
Yaron starts his record release tour tonight in Hamburg:
10/07 Hamburg, Laeiszhalle Kleiner Saal
10/10 Antwerp, De Roma
10/21 Toulouse, Jazz Sur Son 31
10/27 Zurich, Moods
10/31 Innsbruck, Treibhaus
11/02 Vienna, Porgy & Bess
11/03 Munich, Unterfahrt
11/14 Liverpool, Capstone Theatre
11/21 Fontainebleau, Théatre Municipal
12/03 Le Havre, Le Tétris
12/06 Muri, Music am Pflegidach
12/08 Hasselt, Cultuurcentrum
12/12 Paris, Duc des Lombards
12/13 Paris, Duc des Lombards
12/14 Paris, Olympia
12/15 Salon-de-Provence, IMFP