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Words Beyond by Alon Nechushtan

New York-based pianist Alon Nechushtan has worked as a sideman with the likes of Frank London and Baya Kouyate and is the founder of the quintet TALAT, a critically acclaimed jazz-meets-klezmer ensemble. Nechushtan makes a bold statement with Words Beyond, his first release as leader of a progressive trio featuring bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss. The disc is a hard swinging, soulful collection of nine of the pianist's original compositions.

Nechushtan has the ability to reshape a small morsel of melody into imaginative configurations. His ideas flow freely, utilizing both hands to emphasize a punchy, aggressive attack. Right from the opening blues of "Muppet Shock," one can sense influences as diverse as Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett. An unrelenting drive to swing as hard as he can is heard on tunes such as "Dr. Masterplan," with a twisted reference to "Take the A-Train," and the closing McCoy Tynerish "The Traveler."

Weiss and Moutin work well in support of Nechushtan, playing on top of the beat and reacting in accord to the pianist's highly syncopated style. Moutin's rapid-fire, thumb position soloing matches Nechushtan in both technique and intensity. Weiss keeps the grooves crackling with an enticing looseness, especially on the funkiness of "Entranced" and the glistening "Different Kind of Morning."

Exceptional camaraderie and engaging performances make Words Beyond a trio recording worthy of the most discerning listener.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Alon Nechushtan
  • CD Title: Words Beyond
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: Buckyball Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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