May 12, 2018
Leo Records CD LR 793
Joining the minority of improvisers, who like Berlin’s Rudi Mahall and Chicago’s Jason Stein who restrict their playing to bass clarinet, is Karmiel, Israel-born Ziv Taubenfeld. Taubenfeld joins with childhood friends, bassist Shay Hazan and drummer Nir Sabag, to make up the Bones trio. Now Amsterdam-based and also part of more outgoing groups like Kuhn Fu, Taubenfeld’s second CD with the band continues explorations as low-key, tightly paced chamber Jazz.
Contributing to the reductionist values of the trio, throughout the eight selections, Sabag mostly confines himself to mid-range clinks, pimps and shudders, never moving up-front. Academically trained along with the other two, Hazan’s mien is similar. He does supply a bit of concentrated double pumping and animated plucks on tracks such as “Snail Hunting” as well as proving the Arco continuum over which the clarinetist’s tapered outpourings jiggle on “Point and Line #2”, but his contributions are diffident as well. With this situation, the reedist, who composed all the tunes, is the person who must keep the presentation constantly moving, which may be a lot to ask from a single, younger player. He does vary the molasses-like unfolding of “Cello” for instance with pronounced glissandi at the top and corkscrew slurs at the end; contribute aviary squeaks while Hazan rubs out cello-pitched lines on “Turtle Love Song”; and engage the drummer’s rebounds and bassist’s hard strokes with accelerating upper-register dissonance in “Snail Hunting”. But in the main his output is mid-range and moderato, never overdoing the chalumeau register.
All of this accentuates the set’s basic drawbacks: too many comparable-sounding textures, performed with too similar pitches and cadences and at mostly leisurely of not dilatory tempos. Even more pronounced is the instrumental texture. Without more contrast that could be supplied by another instrument or with more varied arrangements, sameness often slathers the end product
Haberdashery preserves the second effort of a trio that has the instrumental finesse to try to define its musical plumage. This particular haberdashery though appears to stock only utilitarian outfits. But Bones could flesh out its group skeleton if it added more flair to the musical garments on show here next time out.
Track Listing: 1 Snail's Pace 2. Explaining What?! 3. Point and Line #2 4. Turtle Love Song 5. Snail Hunting 6. No Name Letters 7. Orange Shoe 8. Cello
Personnel: Ziv Taubenfeld (bass clarinet); Shay Hazan (bass) and Nir Sabag (drums)