The highlight was the solo performance of Israeli soprano saxophonist Ariel Shibolet.   With him we find beyond the music an almost
infinite richness of sounds and expression possibilities.

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scenes from ideal mariage

  

 

ken waxmann, all about jazz 

 

 

In contrast to the other CDs’ inspirations, Ariel Shibolet’s Scenes from an Ideal Marriage,  expresses in music his interpretation of Cy Twombly’s acrylic and pencil painting of the same name. Part of a trilogy of CDs by the tenor saxophonist dedicated to the recently deceased visual artist, Scenes also features violist Nori Jacoby. Despite obvious differences, like partners in an ideal marriage, the timbres from Shibolet’s soprano saxophone and Jacoby’s viola are sometimes indistinguishable, especially when involved in intertwined dialogue. At times polyphonic, polytonal or polyharmonic, the instruments’ textures mix without blending or losing individual identities. Masterful in his use of multiphonics, the reedist lip burbles, pushes unaccented air through his horn’s body tube, hums through his mouthpiece while sounding a tone, and squawks wet glissandi. Meantime the fiddler’s strategy involves sul ponticello scrapes, flying spiccato scrubs and jagged, angled vibrations. By the time the climactic second theme variant is heard, Shibolet’s pinched ney-like whistles and Jacoby’s sul tasto strokes surmount abrasive atonalism. The defining intermezzo is unexpectedly lyrical in contrast to the exposition, but doesn’t neglect pressure for prettiness. When each player’s timbres become as thin as pencil strokes, the subsequent split tones (from the saxist) and angled strokes (from the violist) stretch the sound without breaking it and eventually combine for wide-bore smears which advance then conclude the recitation.

Sonic inspiration can come from anywhere. It’s up to the canny improviser to do the best he or she can with it, as these musicians demonstrate.