One of the things that I like the most about contemporary Jazz is how it’s deeply rooted in the musical culture of our times. This is one of the facts that unfortunately is often missed by all those casual listeners who see Jazz as an “ancient” genre, anchored to old-fashioned styles of music. An album like The Addition of Strangeness, which is the debut LP from Israeli jazz pianist Doron Segal, is one of those records that can demonstrate to the sceptical ones how modern Jazz, when played by brilliant musicians, can really tell about the world where we live today, and not of something that exists only in our memories.
The music offered by Segal follows the path that was initiated by other brilliant musicians like Shai Maestro and Tigran Hamaysan, which sees the combination of timeless and beautiful melodies with alterations and influences coming from many different sources of inspiration, spanning from folk to rock. And it’s not by chance, therefore, that we have in the LP a poetical interpretation of Soundgarden‘s Black Hole Sun.
Segal’s debut highlights the technical skills but also the musical sensibility of the pianist, as well as the value of the two supporting musicians: Tom Berkmann on bass and Daniel Dor on drums. Dor is really one of my favourite drummers, one of the best of his generation, and I’m lucky to have seen him play live a few years ago together with Avishai Cohen. In effect, the duets between drums and piano are among the most exciting moments of the album. The very beginning of the LP, in this sense, is revealing: the song Wrong Channels begins with the piano playing a simple chord progression, while the drums incrementally increase in intensity and, at some point, unleash a complex rhythm that could be taken from jungle electronic, or dubstep. Brilliant. Check by yourself in this video.
The remaining of the LP is full of many other moments like the one just described. Apparently accessible melodies, but with lots of details to be enjoyed. My overall rating for the album is 7.5/10. The Addition of Strangeness is really a great debut album, not to be missed.
Favourite songs: Wrong Channels, Issues, A Sketch of You, and the two covers Agadat Deshe and Black Hole Sun
Doron Segal’s new album is clearly contributing to THE JAZZ MUSIC RADAR, the playlist which collects the best jazz songs released since the beginning of the year. Enjoy!