Recommended: Omer Avital – “Qantar”


The music of Omer Avital is so damn joyful.  It hits me square in the heart, a mainline of happiness that won’t let me sit still.  Like it’s too much to contain.  Like I want to share it.  The bassist’s latest recording sees him with a new line-up, and the change manifests in the motion.  Qantar is meant for dance.  It has an effortless flow that scoops up everything in its path and carries it along for the ride.  Like you.  And me.  This is true when the quintet slows things down a bit on “Beauty and the Beast” and it is also true when the intensity spikes on “Immigration.”  Most tracks, however, keep to a brisk and even pace, where the thrill of speed doesn’t disturb the casual flow of things, as if Avital isn’t in a hurry for any of these tunes to end.

Qantar falls in line with past recordings.  It’s calmer than Suite of the East and Free Forever, but doesn’t shortchange when it comes to those recordings’ boisterous attitude.  “Turkish Coffee Blue” edges closest to those extraordinary recordings with its moody intensity and an omnipresent melody, but even in this instance, the quintet guide the song into territory where introspection isn’t on the menu.  Nor should it be.

How is there not a law requiring Avital to record something new every year?  That seems like a gimme.

Your album personnel:  Omer Avital (bass), Eden Ladin (piano, keyboards), Ofri Nehemya (drums), Alexander Levin (tenor sax) and Asaf Yuria (soprano & tenor saxophones).

Released on Zamzama Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from NYC.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon