The quartet's lineup is unchanged from 2020's Here Be Dragons and the group's interplay has grown even more expressive in the meantime. Throughout Isabela the saxophonist and his collaborators - pianist Nitai Hershkovits, Petros Klampanis on bass and rhythm conjurer Johnathan Blake - apply their subtle dialect in a more intense space, exploring the nuances and colors of Oded's self-fashioned raga in a suite-like sequence of quiet meditations and powerful exclamations.
The remarkable session was captured in Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo in September 2021 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Oded Tzur: tenor saxophone
Nitai Hershkovits: piano
Petros Klampanis: double bass
Johnathan Blake: drums
"Isabela" is transformative, characterful, and utterly compelling. As a purveyor of all things ECM, I would even go as far as saying that this has to be one of the label's finest releases in the last decade or so. It is magnificent. It is, actually, Oded Tzur's little masterpiece." - ***** UK Vibe
"This is a bewitching session from the unique Tel Aviv-born improviser and composer Oded Tzur...A gem in the playbook of doing more with less, Isabela looks sure to push Oded Tzur's already head-turning sound and sensibility way up the ratings." - **** Jazzwise
"Exquisite, tender lyricism, composed and improvised, is punctuated by carefully controlled crescendos of full-throated vocalized passion. It is an intoxicating, uplifting combination from a unique stylist leading a marvellously empathetic band...The album is a perfect little masterpiece." - **** All About Jazz
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