Rafi Malkiel Quintet | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Rafi Malkiel Quintet 

When: Sun., May 19, 7 p.m. 2013
Price: $10 suggested donation
On his terrific 2010 album Water (Tzadik), Israeli trombonist Rafi Malkiel demonstrates the cosmopolitan spirit of his adopted home of New York without ditching his roots. From track to track his compositions— alternately elegant and boisterous, but always infectious—draw from Jamaican reggae (“Eden Rain”), Duke Ellington’s jungle-band sound (“A Drink of Spring”), and more than anything Afro-Caribbean styles, but the Middle Eastern modes of his homeland ripple throughout, especially in the eruptions of klezmer that turn pretty melodies and graceful rhythms into wild throwdowns. The recording features a top-notch large band that includes fellow Israeli expats (clarinetist Anat Cohen, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, flutist Ital Kriss) and key figures from New York’s Latin-jazz scene (pianist Pablo Mayor, percussionists Nestor Gomez and Mauricio Herrera), and the multipartite nature of Malkiel’s arrangements gives their contrapuntal lines and dense polyrhythms an extra vitality. Malkiel performs as part of the inaugural Israeli Jazz Festival, leading a quintet with Kriss, pianist Jack Glottman, electric bassist Panagiotis Andreou, and drummer Franco Pinna. —Peter Margasak



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