1 Persistence of Memory 7:56
2 The Magician 9:27
3 Minuet for Maya 7:56
4 Farbalak 7:07
5 Spring Ahead 5:20
Dave Douglas - Trumpet
Alon Farber - Soprano & Alto saxes
Yehonatan Cohen - Tenor sax & Clarinet
Oded Meir - Trombone
Katia Toobool - Piano
Assaf Hakimi - Acoustic & Electric bass
Roy Oliel - Drums
(1,5) by Dave Douglas / Noenmity Music, BMI
(2,3) by Alon Farber / ACUM
(4) by Farber & Yonatan Albalak / ACUM
Produced by Alon Farber
Recorded June 27, 2023 by Eli Zehavi
Live at Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Mixed by Bill Tzur, Tel Aviv, Israel
Mastered by Yonatan Danino, Tel Aviv, Israel
Band photo by Yossi Zwecker
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Saxist and leader Akib Farber delivers a concert at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem with special guest on trumpet Dave Douglas along with a local team of Yehonatan Cohen/ts-cl, Oded Meir/tb, Katia Toobool/p, Assaf Hakimi/b and Roy Oliel/dr. The team is in an effervescent mood, with Douglas bright and dramatic working on his own "Persistence of Memor ...
One night stands, in jazz terms – as in life – can be exciting, but they don't always pack much staying power. So, when you take a senior member of the American jazz community of the stature and well-earned vintage of trumpeter Dave Douglas and marry him, for a double header at the Jerusalem Jazz Festival, with Israeli act Alon Farber's Hagiga, you never know what you might end up with.
In the event, the gigs at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in June 2023, were a blast. That dynamism and go-for-broke vibe come across in the new release from Farber's sextet, most of whose members have been doing sterling onstage and studio work together for some time.
Reedman Farber has been leading the group from the front for over 20 years now. He always runs a tight ship, while allowing plenty of room for individual joyous self-expression. Hence the interface with Douglas stood every chance of producing some magic. And magic those Jerusalem dates truly were.
With Farber's big band pedigree, largely as a founder member of the Israel Jazz Orchestra which, incidentally, has been going as long as Hagiga, you were always going to get a taste of slick close-knit layered sonics driven by a thirst for adventure.
Douglas is well and truly on board for the ride. Over four decades of eclectic envelope pushing across an expansive sweep of combos, material, genres and styles make him an ideal nip-and-tuck partner for transient tête-å-têtes of this nature. That goes for performing Douglas's charts, Persistence of Memory – a nugget from the prolific trumpeter's third album from 1995, and In Our Lifetime - and Spring Ahead, his eighth release just two years later, which open and close the track list.
The Jerusalem reading of the latter finds Douglas in vibrant and unabashed joie de vivre mode, as he was a throughout the gig, with the band happily following in his slipstream. Farbalak is a real cooker, with Douglas and Farber dovetailing like veteran sparring partners, and the rest of the gang in joyous simpatico step.
Minuet for Maya. Which first appeared on Hagiga's New Directions 2016 release, takes us into gentler climes with some lush bluesy underscoring, particularly courtesy of Farber's old pal trombonist Oded Meir. Katia Toobool, an accomplished jazz cat, makes her recording debut with the gang here providing silky coloring on piano, while drummer Roy Oliel proffers his deftly crafted percussive thoughts. Farber clearly has a sense of humor, and the number somehow segues into slightly understated pandemonium at the close.
The title track showcases Douglas's chops to the full as he soars for sonic stratospheres and unfurls his formidable sonic bag of tricks across the full spectrum of textures and colors. Tenorist Yehonatan Cohen also packs a punch or two on the number, and long-serving bassist Assaf Hakimi completes the rhythm section with rock solid perception and not a little inventiveness.
The Magician captures Hagiga – yes – on a magical date with a consummate lineup, an abundance of firepower and plenty of stellar standout performances.
"Hagiga revel in the diversity of flavors and musical colors that make up the "Israeli soundtrack". With a thrilling front line of three blowers - reminiscent of certain sets by Dave Douglas or Booker Little - the members of Hagiga set off on the adventure."
France Musique (Jazz Trotter)
"Now entering it's third decade, this ensemble snake charms, belly dances and parts the waters with chops to spare. Opening the ears to jazz pouring out of Israel, these vets and pros are some really sterling travel guides to new sonic lands"
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
The fourth album from Alon Farber’s Hagiga band was inspired by Eddie Harris’s 'Freedom Jazz Dance' and is a gorgeous blend of musical flavours and colours, swing, Moroccan, funk and Brazilian music that makes up that melting pot of the Israeli soundtrack.
But, it was Alon’s arrangement of 'You’ll See The Way' that really hooked me onto this album and when you take on a Matti Caspi song and make it sound as good as the original, you know you’ve got a great album!
Jazz FM (UK) (Ruth Fisher)
"Hagiga has been in the forefront of Israel's burgeoning jazz scene for more than two decades, thanks for the most part to bright and colorful compositions by Farber and other members of the sextet, Farber's splendid charts and dynamic blowing by all hands…A scrapbook of stylish universal music with a delightful Israeli accent.."
All About Jazz (Jack Bowers)
"A very detailed listen that also touches on funk, Moroccan and Brazilian sounds, Farber’s Israeli jazz formula finds a unique place to reside, and certainly deserves repeated listens for any and all fans of global jazz."
Take Effect (Tom Haugen)
: "Hagiga plays tight and skilfully: we hear three wind instruments and a rhythm section in beautiful themes, with excellent solos by all musicians. Double tempo, counter rhythms, virtuosity; it all sounds very organic…Founded in 2001, the group takes the freedom to play what they feel like, making the fun and craftsmanship splash"
Music Frames (Netherlands) (Mattie Poels)