Review: Omer Klein’s trio an example of jazz’s global reach | Entertainment

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Review: Omer Klein’s trio an example of jazz’s global reach | Entertainment

“Life & Fire,” Omer Klein (Warner Music)

Jazz grows in places far from its roots, as “Life & Fire” shows. The album marks the 10th anniversary of pianist Omer Klein’s trio, which also includes bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Amir Bresler. All are Israeli-born, with Klein now based in Frankfurt, Germany, and the lineage of the group’s sound includes the Middle East, Latin America, New Orleans and New York.

The three artists receive equal billing on the album cover, reflecting their music’s collaborative spirit. Arrangements are both tight and loose, and in keeping with the band’s anniversary, there’s a joyful, celebratory mood to the set.

Cohen-Milo and Bresler make sure most everything swings or sways, and one of the album’s charms is the rhythm section’s interplay with Klein as his piano parts back up and run ahead, dart, careen, skip, swirl and shimmer. All seven tunes were composed by Klein, who turns brilliant corners on the Thelonious Monk-like “Song No. 2,” and seems to have at least three hands to propel the bouncy “3/4 Mantra.” The trio evokes sunny Brazil in 5/8 time on “Cantando,” and the wistful “Tzuri” draws from klezmer. “Niggun” references Jewish folk music with a frenzy, bringing to mind children rushing to the playground to start recess — a universal image in a musical genre that knows no borders.

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