SO FAR features: Nadav Remez (guitar, compositions) Shai Maestro (piano, Fender Rhodes, organ) J ames Wylie (alto sax, clarinet) Steve Brickman (tenor saxophone) Avri Borochov (bass) Ziv Ravitz (drums) and special guest Itamar Borochov (trumpet)
CD Release Concerts in Celebration of So Far
- 4/12 @ Chris' Jazz Café (Philadelphia, PA)
- 4/13 @ Twins Jazz (Washington, D.C.)
- 4/21 @ Goethe Institut (Boston, MA)
- 4/24 @ Smalls (NYC)
Guitarist/composer Nadav Remezoriginally from Israel, now living in Brooklyn, NY, is one of the best recent discoveries of the jazz scene,"
(L'Est Republicain). His music, an intriguing blend of modern jazz, alternative rock, and Jewish folk music, is drawing attention from fans and critics worldwide. The Berklee and New England Conservatory alumni's debut recording, So Far, captures a magical performance by Remez and his band of Shai Maestro, James Wylie, Steve Brickman, Avri Borochov, Ziv Ravitz, and special guest Itamar Borochov, in an adventurous musical journey through eight new originals, and a brilliant arrangement of a traditional Jewish melody, Lecha Dodi." So Far will be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on April 26.
The title track So Far" is an ensemble piece with no solos, but focused rather on introducing the voices of the band, and having them fully expressed in this piece of music. The composition serves as the overture, or centerpiece, for the entire recording as it contains various melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements from the rest of the tunes. So Far continues with Pinchas," inspired by the jazz-rock-folk writing approach of drummers Eric Harland and Brian Blade," said Remez, and the first tune on the CD featuring extended improvisations by pianist Shai Maestro and Remez. On Pinchas," and the rest of the recording, the band reveals its Fellowship-ness with splendid results. Inner Peace" began humbly as a composition exercise but quickly morphed into a tune worthy of being on the album. The first section of the tune shares the chordal structure of one of Joe Henderson's most revered compositions, Inner Urge," and also some of the cathartic energy from much of mid-1960s jazz. Untitled" begins the B-side" of the album so to speak, offering an act two that features more intense playing. The traditional Jewish song, Lecha Dodi," sung in synagogues around the world on Friday nights to welcome the Sabbath, is re-imagined by Remez by bringing together two variations on the melody with the quarter-tone improvisations from guest trumpeter Itamar Borochov and saxophonist James Wylie.
Other highlights on So Far include From Above," written for Nadav's late Grandmother Regine during her last days. This song reminds me of a bird, flying through a town for the last time before migrating to another place," said Remez; and The Miracle," of which Remez commented, this tune literally came into my life unannounced. My band and I were rehearsing for a TV appearance, and after we were finished we started some free improvisation. At one point I just heard the tune in its entirety in my head and played it. I repeated playing the melody over and over again and the other guys started jumping in one after the other. That's how the concept of the tune evolved. In the context of the album, this is the last tune with the entire band playing, and the climax of the story." The album peacefully concludes with a lovely solo piece, that is in tribute to Remez's Grandfather Yosef, nicknamed Susu." Remez explains further, it is a through-composed song, that ends with a looped vamp that I first improvise on, and then manipulate so that it is played in reverse, before fading out. The last minute reminds me of a ship sailing away, into the mist."
Nadav Remez received a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2005, and in 2007 he was invited to participate in the prestigious Montreux Gibson Jazz guitar competition, where he was selected as a semi-finalist. In 2008, Remez continued his studies at the New England Conservatory, where he studied with the likes of Miguel Zénon, Billy Hart and George Garzone. He quickly became one of busiest musicians in the area, as he collaborated with notable musicians such as Myron Walden and Jamey Haddad, and performed at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals, including the Blue Note in New York and the Nancy Jazz Pulsations in France. During this time, Remez started writing music for his first album as a leader, and in June 2010, Nadav and his band went into the studio to record So Far, which beautifully sums up his latest life experiences, in musical form.