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Assif Tsahar Trio
Ein Sof

Cat. No.: SHCD148 *SOLD OUT*

Personnel:
Assif Tsahar  tenor saxophone
William Parker  bass
Susie Ibarra  drums/percussion

Track Listing:
1. Is Here Tomorrow Will 10:30
2. Ephemeral Symbiosis, pt. 3 1:59
3. Ephemeral Symbiosis, pt. 2 1:33
4. Through Forgotten Ancestors 12:30
5. Sun Drops 7:56
6. Ein Sof 7:12
7. Ephemeral Symbiosis, pt. 5 2:36
8. Ephemeral Symbiosis, pt. 1 1:33
9. Shadow Puppet 10:34
10. Internal Dialogue 11:37
11. Ephemeral Symbiosis, pt. 4 1:53
12. Ephemeral Symbiosis, pt. 6 1:43

Total time: 71:49
 
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The Assif Tsahar Trio has recently been causing a stir in downtown New York music circles and at one or other summer jazz festival, as for example the one held in central Massachusets - at Amhurst - on July 27th, 1996. "The afternoon segment ended with a trio led by young tenor player Assif Tsahar. Joined by bassist William Parker and drummer Susie Ibarra, the three delivered a set of graceful muscularity. Tsahar is clearly influenced by players like David Ware and Charles Gayle, his full throaty tenor spilling out roiling waves and driving torrents. He is clearly developing his own voice on the horn, combining an energetic exhuberance and full command of the extended vocabulary of overblowing and harmonics with a sense of vocalized phrasing and open dynamics.
The combination of Parker and Ibarra was simply breathtaking. Parker has established himself as the pre-eminent bassist of Free Jazz. Building upon his tenure with Cecil Taylor, he has a potent command of shaping group interactions, slipping effortlessly between scorching arco and pummelling plucked lines. Having spent time studying with Milford Graves, Ibarra is quickly becoming a drummer of choice, working in ensembles such as those led by both Parker and David Ware. She masterfully drove the pulse of the music with circling free rhythms of forceful economy, using a small selection of bells, shakers and gongs to extend the melodic range of her spare tuned kit. Her playing infused the trio with the controlled free flow of Tai Chi, combining stabbing rolls, explosive tattoos, and sizzling cymbals. The set ranged from searing sections, where Parker's blistering arco combined with Tsahar's searing tenor with stunning intensity, to quietly simmering free ballads."
Michael Rosenstein (Cadence, September 1996, page 84).
The session to be heard on Silkheart 148 was recorded by Jim Anderson at Avatar Studios in Manhattan during January 1997.
 
 
Liner Notes

The line tho recognizable is already abstract, no need to call it an abstract line - the puzzle - recognizable but undefinable shapes - conflict and contradiction ending beginning looking healing. The music so close so dream accurate false/hoods no denials the disjointing facts: the ice to put the fire out / the fire to melt the ice... "You think it goes this way but it goes that way," as William Parker says....strange wonderful wilderness
Art is more than copying - more than iconography - virtuosity and spirituality must be equally employed. The fingers must push with both intellect and soul...this process is happening more and more in Assif's playing the inside meeting the outside the heart meeting the head and vice versa....the bliss the discipline as evident in its variables and constancy (as in) and without vanity or starlike heroics but private room open to public considering them as part of but never catering to.
Tsahar demands from his colleagues but at the same time gives them total freedom....(something the exemplary bass player William Parker, and elegant drummer-percussionist Susie Ibarra are very keen on)...the creative juices always flowing...the music, always trim and full, encompassing as well as surpassing time...both loose and well-structured. Dissentient aspects hard to accomplish...ideas hatched thru well-calculated automaticism located at the Center of Isolation and Intimacy...each track a song cycle ploughing thru and rolling back the Life Cycle...hoarse rumble sculpting and defining the basic ingredients...tearing the melody to shreds while never forgetting to be tender...severing the lines with nerve-wrenching ferocity returning us to the beginnings...the ends...
...The mirror / which is / the back of your head and his face / you stand unopposed / to each other / separated by a short distance of air and glass / and wire / and metal / and light / and dust (I'm sure tho I can't see any)...the mirror / is warm wood and cold place / or how warm the wood looks here / while she rubs her hands / in this windchill factory / the clips keep the muse together / the tape keeps it mute / the cables bind it / and the metal box imprisons it / you wipe them away in an instance / and begin again / the mirror / your warm cold voice......pulling us out...
Everything looks like something - phrases ideas repeated but not repetitious - restated but not restateable - from intricate release to almost uncontrolled joy dreaming then kissing the island the coral the folly the power the pleasure the punishment the pain - music derived from the source but not pilfered - birds and bust of antiquity on an odyssey like roulette communicating from action and passivity exile and hardware and stolen truths - music that combines systems ideas logic and values - impressions...expressions of faith and mischief. Verticality and horizontality mixing but never in static perpendicularity...fantastic journeys thru learned experience...nothing laquered over...it is all genuine and as close to the core as it gets, drawing on parts we know nothing about...the mystery and suspense of rainwater and rainbow emotional wall of welder's spark...partners of possession and sharing - merged and purged...the trio subverting and rebalancing the entire elemental table. Displaying a wide array of color and ultra-smooth gleaming shapes - funnels of sound maximizing the minimum and vice versa...
We are captives aboard a grandeloquent (partner)ship - low silhouettes against a high light that whips up magic forms - the Self and the SHADOW PUPPETS it projects...surveying the prisms of Luck and Labor - telling us Biographies - cataloguing the products of an ever-expansive shrinking society...and we shake our heads and roll our eyes at these notions these boomeranging images..particles and particulars dispersing then reconstituting...dissolving and disappearing...the music always trying to imprison itself while the musician battles to set it free - bring it to a new place...always inspired by as yet unattained regions presenting us with a split image incorporating primary and secondary landscapes - blending turning swirling dancing crawling snaking thru the jets...elbowing us into a marketplace Assif has invented...a breadth of space vibrating with sonic wares...befuddling us while transmitting a message that has already been deeply encoded in us and which is as old as song itself..we disembark and have the privilege of sharing the range of Tsahar's vocalizing throughout. Engineer - dreamer - social scientist - dynamic sound philosopher - scrabbler - garrulous thinker thru the cave of the bell - quiet contemplator thru the reed - this trio brings together things predicted and predicated assumed worked out beforehand and destined and best of all Things that Just Happen.
Headless abstract things pulling the listener right thru the glass right thru the eyes and ears of our insulated worlds past the blue mask and the doorway THROUGH FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS to the seat where it all incepted...the grains of combined styles...with Parker's plucking and Ibarra's sticks and cowbells beginning an afro-cuban bata-rhythm which remains the backbone of this piece. Tsahar enters with a bluesy head that I still can't get out of my head and those forgotten are quickly remembered with a feeling of festive nostalgia...Tsahar extends the head into a rollicking intervallic solo flirting with both ends of the register by staying mostly mid... These exotic intoxicating flirtations are a further example of Assif's experiments with the "Post-Bop" or "Post-Traditional" Jazz idiom, which due to its loose, rambling risk-taking has no relationship to "Neo-Bop" and its sterile uninventive approach to music. This is a listener-friendly piece however, showcasing Tsahar's unique and disjointed fashion of playing complexly off an unadorned structure...and we ascend and plummet on the brink...lost in an entire cornucopia of breath - visiting and being visited by the avatars: witnesses covered by the luxury of knowledge and forgetfulness in this vast / tiny space where speed and configuration greet and dine us, repel and bring us back to where it all rewinds and as always IS HERE TOMORROW WILL....rough harmonic interplay...music lost in the wilderness of the studio reborn and found on the sonant river...SUNDROPS mingling with the ripples in the early...reedbow scraping cymbals tongues arung and whispering thru the lines of static edges and never ending conclusions...recollections of ecstatic presence and shimmering reflections...a music determined not to excite or agitate but to invoke and provoke an uneasy scratchy rapture...the oil that burns and gives us strength...the delicate mixing of stick and skin...
We live in the music - its possession of us - its gnawing melodic devisiveness and harmonious dischord - this trio masters both (pitch ranges) varying in speed and quantitative result but never varying in quality - up up down length still stirring shaking short lungfulls deep surfaces delicate tao of raised arm and fold-
...this trio so in-sync the distinction at times blurred between voices though the voices are ever distinct...sky clear but clouded in a threatening world...the music starting always in Assif's belly and ending in EIN SOF (Infinity) - abstract cyphers that always add up...how does one design a piece? from the bottom? the top? flame - smoke - draught - freedom - and season...elevate catapult wrap unwrap enslave release and circle and circle encircle...the small interlocking EPHEMERAL SYMBIOSIS...6 links that present themselves out of order - links that refer to yet are separate from each other and the greater whole - each containing strands of Tsahar's musical language yet capable of standing alone as complete sentences within incomplete thoughts...thoughts that lead to the final large piece in the puzzle - here we hear Assif's INTERNAL DIALOGUE as he speaks to himself thru himself to us with chamber-like quality...fresh improvisation - explosive delirium - invigorating feats - universally idiosyncratic tone-hooks...electric combinations...no excesses.
"Neo-avant-garde"...the music immersed in and streaming out of self and ending like a meticulously well-timed hymnal...we are spared wit whimsy and costume. The balladic slate is swept clean and we embrace each blade
contained within this space.
Songs which enchant and pursue. A place where time's not time. A music that bridges the prosaic and spondaic with harsh catalyzing screams...a red bowed drum. A maze of emotions in just one HORN...the puzzle still puzzling but complete.

and the cry of the child becomes the outcry of the Man.
the headaches we endure cutting thru the bullshit and landing on our own two feet

....paradise is a house filled with fruit and past promises / all enveloping / blind to faithless consumers / built on a foundation indifferent to positive and negative flow / a house on the edge of a cliff / overlooking the vast ocean of months / with clear windows / for even the ghosts to look out of / with their inward eyes / the ghosts kept alive by the music / as the untamed air ages their language / the ghosts / kept alive by the ritual and the trance / kept alive by the long long drop....


Steve Dalachinsky
NYC 1997
 
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