Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mark Feldman, Uri Caine, Greg Cohen & Joey Baron - Secrets (Tzadik, 2009)

Violinist Feldman, bassist Cohen, pianist Caine and drummer Baron have been involved on a number of Tzadik projects throughout the years, and this is another genuinely enjoyable one. Touching on the gentle chamber jazz swing of projects like the Masada String Trio and BarKokhba, the music improvises on music with a Middle Eastern feel, led by Feldman's violin which achieves a sweet aching and longing on several of the tracks here. Caine's acoustic piano isn't often featured, but here he gets a bit of space and uses it to excellent effect, with some swinging and thoughtful improvisations and solid support for the other musicians. Highlights of this disc include the exciting "Kel Adon" which starts out with an ominous piano trio playing in a free-ish manner before Feldman enters and turns the performance into a mournful lullaby that gradually intensifies into a swinging quasi-classical performance. This track really demonstrates thebredth of the music these men are capable of. "Chabad Nigun" Is an uptempo performance that is a great feature for violin - sweeping and swooping, the music is swift and sure. Caine gets a fine feature in "Z'Chor Hashem", a fast Middle Eastern flavored swinger that includes a rapid interlude of McCoy Tyner like piano and a short drum solo. I liked this one quite a bit, and think that anyone who has been impressed by the chamber jazz works that have been released onTzadik previously will enjoy this, as well as listeners interested in the intersection of classical music and jazz.

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