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Blues is the root, the foundation – the undercurrent churning beneath nearly all strains of popular music. “It’s a vocabulary you have to have in order to play really anything,” explains guitarist and composer Oz Noy. “If you don’t understand the blues, I just don’t think that what you’re playing will sound as good.” By tapping into that elusive blues feeling and exploring its potential to inform and enrich a variety of musical settings, Noy has emerged as a compelling new voice in a crowded field. The resulting music is simultaneously refreshingly inventive and grounded in a deep, soulful tradition.
Oz Noy’s latest album features Dave Weckl (Drums), Etienne Mbappe (Bass)
Acclaimed Israeli-born, New York-based guitarist and composer Oz Noy strains against boundaries, creating intuitive, fluid sonic art suspended somewhere between blues anguish, rock power, and the rich harmonic density of jazz. Released on March 17, 2015 via Abstract Logix, the live Asian Twistz may just be the purest distillation of his vision yet. An unexpected dispatch from a trio of 2014 shows in Shanghai and Thailand, Asian Twistz was recorded on the fly with no intention of release, and features the all-star rhythm section of drummer Dave Weckl (Chick Corea, George Benson, Robert Plant) and bassist Etienne Mbappe (John McLaughlin’s 4th Dimension, Salif Keita).
“The surprising thing about this album,” Noy explains, “is that it was never meant to be an album at all.” Weckl captured the performances for his own reference onto a Mac Air laptop, with minimal outboard gear – with impressive depth and clarity given the informal circumstances. The uncluttered fidelity only heightens the intensity of the performances, which are largely based on material from Twisted Blues – Noy’s provocative, two-volume exploration and deconstruction of the blues’ vast expressive potential.
Freed from the sterile environs of the studio, Noy’s trio is explosively resourceful, interacting and improvising with a rare degree of muscle and sensitivity – whether tackling a classically styled shuffle like “Whole Tone Blues” or the terse, knotty funk of “Steroids.” Noy’s playing in particular reveals why he has been cited as a bold new voice on the instrument, welding a deep foundation in the blues to a tireless urge to innovate and discover new terrain – either via the use of effects (the extended drums/guitar intro on “Downside Up”) or deft use of space (“Slow Grease”).
Asian Twistz, with its stripped sonics and trio transparency, is a remarkable document. “It’s totally spontaneous,” Noy reflects. “These songs were recorded toward the end of the tour, so we are really going for it: taking chances we might not have earlier. While I never imagined it would be released like this, I’m really proud of this recording. It really shows the sound of this band, and how we improvise in real time. No fixes or overdubs – just some real music.”
In 1978 Haslip met guitarist Robben Ford and keyboardist Russell Ferrante and formed a group to record Robben’s first solo recording on Electra-Asylum. This critically acclaimed album, called ” The Inside Story” became a landmark recording. That album led to the formation of The Yellowjackets and in 1980 they recorded a debut album for Warners Bros. Records.
Jimmy is actively composing, arranging, producing and performing with Yellowjackets, the two time Grammy winners.
For more than 25 years, Dave Weckl has developed and maintained a reputation among fans, peers, and the international music community as one of the great living drummers. For this, he has received numerous accolades and honors; Modern Drummer inducted Dave into their Hall of Fame and named him “one of the 25 best drummers of all time.”
But these honors, in addition to many more bestowed by the music community, are the product of Dave’s undying commitment to making great compositions. Dave’s incredibly dynamic and diverse drumming, which has inspired musicians worldwide, is built on a solid foundation of knowledge and respect for music.