Daniel Zamir – “Satlah”

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The debut release from Daniel Zamir‘s  SATLAH  trio features  hot,  klezmer-influenced jazz originals by the excellent young  altoist.  With the exception of the traditional “Hasar Hamemuneh,” the pieces are all named as (chronologically) numbered poems so that, according to Zamir, the listener can think of whatever they want instead of being influenced toward certain associations by more evocative song titles.

With a strong rhythm section of  bassist  Shanir Ezra  Blumenkranz  and  percussionist Kevin Zubek,  SATLAH moves through kicking, upbeat numbers like the opening cut, “The Theme & Poem 16”; terrific grooves with soaring alto (such as “Poem 1” and “Poem 22”); and quiet moments such as “Poem 12B”, which also includes bell ringing and sound bites of a synagogue service. Most of these lyrical songs alternate between more traditional-sounding melodies and barely restrained explosiveness in which the fun and structure momentarily give way to brief saxophone freak-outs that quickly move right back into the tune at hand.  John Zorn  also joins in with his alto during this great installment in Tzadik’s Radical Jewish Culture series.

Daniel Zamir  was born in 1980 in Petah Tikva. Having started on alto saxophone, Zamir is mainly known for his soprano playing.

Zamir was born to a secular family and started playing the saxophone at the age of twelve. He is a graduate of  Thelma Yellin high school of arts in Israel. After he finished his studies he was discharged from the Israel Defense Forces due to his low weight and left for New York, where he began showing interest in Jewish, Hasidic and East European music.  He completed his studies at New School in 2002.

In New York he was discovered by the Jewish composer-saxophonist John Zorn, who signed him to a contract in his recording label “Tzadik”.

Under the “Tzadik” label, Zamir recorded three albums with his band, Satlah, with Zorn as a sideman. They recorded two studio albums called “Children of Israel” and “Satlah”, as well as a live performance called “Exodus”. “Satlah” and “Exodus” contain original materials written by Zamir himself, while “Children of Israel” contains original jazz variations of known traditional Israeli and Jewish compositions. In all three albums, Zamir performs as soloist together with a rhythm section, which includes bass and drums, accompanied by an ensemble of brass instruments.

While staying in New York,  Zamir got closer to the Jewish religion and finally decided to go back to live in Israel. In 2006 he recorded his fourth album, “Amen”, under the Israeli label “Hatav Hashmini”, with Omer Avital on bass, Daniel Friedman on drums and Omri Mor on piano. Avishai Cohen plays trumpet on one of the tracks.

In 2009, Zamir released a second album on the “Hatav Hashmini” label titled “Echad” (One).

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Price: $9.99 (buy from iTunes)
Genres: Jazz, Music, World, Avant-Garde Jazz
Released: Mar 28, 2000 ℗ 2000 Tzadik

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