Music Reviews

Live Act(s): The Plain Hex Quartet + Rashanim + Eyal Maoz's Dimyon
Event Date: 11 September 2006
Type of Event: Small Club Concert
Venue: Tonic
Rated: *****
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On this day of mourning for New York City, bass player Shanir Blumenkranz (of the Masada String Orchestra) decided he'd make sure everybody's mind was off of that past tragedy/conspiracy and held the stage with three of the bands he currently plays in.
Although not officially part of the Jewish Music and Heritage festival taking place in New York at the same time, this concert pretty much complemented the official happenings, as it really was about presenting a lot of good jewish music. Pretty much the entire night was all about klez-jazz music venturing into rock, acoustic and indie territories!
Opening the night was The Plain Hex Quartet, a project by guitarist Yoshie Fruchter, also featuring Chris Hoffman on cello and my fellow swiss Mathias Kunzli (previously Lauren Hill) on drums.
Following that, Rashanim, the electric trio founded by guitar player Jon Madof (in the picture - btw, more pictures available from that night upon request). The trio (with the same rhythm section as in the previous band) took the stage by storm with their powerful and raw sound that draws from improvisational tradition but within the framework of carefully written and arranged music. Madof has also worked with Zorn, Ribot and Matisyahu among others. Look out for Jon Madof's new record, being released on Zorn's Tzadik label in October and mixed by the great Bill Laswell.
Last but not least, Eyal Maoz's Dimyon closed the night with their experimental classical/avantgarde/world music string ensamble plus electric guitar plus drums... oh, and if you thought that drums have nothing to add or do with a trio of strings, think again! Leave it up to the great percussionist Satoshi Takeishi (currently with Brazilian jazz pianist Eliane Elias) and he will show you how toys and drums from the most distant places on earth will greatly complement and enrich every band or project I have ever seen Satoshi take part in. Besides the omnipresent Shanir (on upright, instead of electric, for this occasion) we also had the pleasure to see and listen to Eyal Maoz (guitar), Chris Hoffman (cello) and Jonathan Keren (violin).
Great concert night! I realized to late that I should not have worn my "Jesus is my Homeboy" t-shirt that night, but, oy vey, what the hell, right?!

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