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In its review of pianist Shai Maestro's ECM leader debut 'The Dream Thief', All About Jazz spoke of "a searching lyrical atmosphere, emotional eloquence and communal virtuosity that serves the music." All of which also applies to 'Human', where Maestro's outgoing, highly-communicative band with fellow Israeli Ofri Nemya on drums and Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder becomes a quartet with the inspired addition of US trumpeter Philip Dizack.

Shai's expansive pianism is well-matched by Dizack's alert, quick-thinking approach to improvising. And, as ever, Maestro is taking the music forward while also respecting its sense of tradition. Near the end of a programme comprised almost entirely of Maestro originals, exploring a range of temperaments, the quartet offers its own take on Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood", while Shai's tune "Hank and Charlie" pays tribute to the musical empathy shared by the late Hank Jones and Charlie Haden.

'Human' was recorded at Studios la Buissonne in the South of France in February 2020, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

Shai Maestro: piano
Philip Dizack: trumpet
Jorge Roeder: double bass
Ofri Nehemya: drums


"This time out, Maestro has expanded his group with trumpeter Philip Dizack. It is a musical marriage made in heaven...Human is another fine addition to the Romantic strand of the ECM's catalogue. It is an intensely humanistic and societal affair." - **** All About Jazz

"With "Human", Shai Maestro adds to his list of releases that offer inquisitive, searching piano-led music that is well crafted and adventurous in the keenest sense...eloquent and virtuosic playing...hopefully there is more to come from this group in the future." - **** UK Vibe

"Maestro's propensity for delicately exploratory melodies and haunting atmosphere is exemplified in the limpid opener, Time, piano and horn spelling out a theme over hissing cymbals, while the title track is a short but beautifully lingering melody, working up to an ecstatic crescendo." - **** The Scotsman

"Former Avishai Cohen pianist Shai Maestro, a Jarrett-inspired artist with correspondingly sharp intuitions for hooks that evoke haunting songs, releases his best album yet with Human (ECM), a set of tender and tempestuous originals and one reworked standard that puts his group, with bassist Jorge Roeder, drummer Ofri Nehemya, and downtown New York trumpet original Philip Dizack in the jazz-polls driving seat." - The Guardian

"I extol the beauty, craftsmanship and warmth found in both Human and The Dream Thief - wondrous, attentive recordings that will undoubtedly stay with me for a very long time." - AP Reviews


  1. Name
  2. Time
  3. Mystery and Illusions
  4. Human
  5. GG
  6. The Thief's Dream
  7. Hank and Charlie
  8. Compassion
  9. Prayer
  10. They Went to War
  11. In a Sentimental Mood
  12. Ima (For Talma Maestro)
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