Like good coffee, this quartet offers a strong, rich, full-bodied flavor that lends itself to the textured straight-ahead jazz put forth by many of the masters. Yaniv Nachum seems intent on maintaining the firm and fine tradition of jazz in its unaltered state with this album, Fragments of Before.
Hailing from Amsterdam, The Netherlands (in fact, he still lives and records there), Nachum is joined by German pianist Franz von Chossy, Finland’s Anssi Lehtivuori on drums, and Sean Fascini from the good ol’ U.S. on bass. Others join in as guests on specific tracks (Charly Zastrau on piano on track 8 and Cord Heineking on bass on track 5.) All of these musicians know how to apply color to the luxurious canvas of jazz in their own special way.
Conceptually, Fragments of Before is pretty pure and unpretentious, opening a window into jazz music as it was probably originally intended to be perceived. The mood of the album is fluid, changing from Nachum’s upbeat sax work on "Lawine" to the softer, tender, dreamy aura of tunes like "Nameless Land" to the showcased, deliberate, and defined scale work displayed on "Resurgence."
All of the tunes offered here present themselves as real, sophisticated, well-conceived productions with purpose. You can’t help tipping your hat in respect to an effort like this, as it does honor and justice to the undisturbed fabric of straight-ahead jazz. Fragments of Before is designed specifically for the listener who enjoys jazz without the modern frills but with much character.