When I first heard Shauli Einav’s Opus One, it sounded like a jazz artifact. While in the throes of several styles, the Israeli saxophonist was squeezing all of them out through a retro filter as if it were a Blue Note record from the ‘60s. A Truth About Me comes with a few additional drops of modern jazz. No, he isn’t reenacting Ornette Coleman circa 1961, but his relocation to Paris must account for at least a little bit of an update. He has a nice thick band behind him with Andy Hunter on trumpet, Antonin Tri Hoang on alto sax and clarinet, Paul Lay on Piano, Florent Nisse on bass and Louis Moutin on drums.
Einav continues to stress melody and harmony. Nobody goes nuts, nobody drives a solo into the ground and dissonance is reserved only for the most special of occasions. A Truth About Me is an album designed to turn one’s self inward. If there’s one song that has a license to do otherwise, it’s the ever-wondering “Nomads” – and even then, this nomad doesn’t stray so far from home. In a genre known for churning out so many improvisers, Einav has made it safe for us to care about jazz composers once again.
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