(English follows the Japanese)
By Takaaki Kondo
Roy Assafはイスラエル出身のPianist。Tel Aviv Conservatory、Berklee College of Musicで学び、2008年には「American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Young Jazz Composer」の18歳～29歳の部で表彰される。31回「Down Beat Student Award for Outstanding Performance」で第2位を獲得、他にも「Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute Award」、「America Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians」、「30th Down Beat Student Award for Best Jazz Arrangement」を獲得しています。メダルが多いのね （笑）
Roy Assaf (p)
Rueben Roger (b)
Greg Hutchinson (ds)
Roy Hargrove (tp,flh)
Eric Alexander (ts)
Greg Gisbert: trumpet, flugelhorn (5, 6); Vanderlei Pereira: percussion (5, 6, 8, 10); Stanton Caldwell III: trumpet (5); Buster Tate: trumpet (5, 6); Al Viento: trumpet (5); Simon Goh: trumpet (5); Michael Dease: trombone (5); Eric Miller: trombone (5); Stafford Floyd: trombone (5); Robert Edwards: bass trombone (5); David Peel: french horn (5); Yotam Silberstein: goud (5), guitar (6); Tarik Zephram: kora (5); Evan Sherman: percussion (5); Vincent Ector: percussion (5, 6); Roger Squitero: percussion (5); Ronnell Bey: vocals (6); Sharel Cassity: bass clarinet, alto flute (6).
1. Easy Does It
2. Brake’s Sake
3. Hymn for Freedom
5. Fly With the Wind
7. Eternal Child
8. Song for Abdullah
11. September in Rio
12. Guardian Angel
❑ Buy CD
❑ Related Video
Robert Anchipolovsky & Roy Assaf Trio Live In Yalta East Of The Sun
“Roy Assaf is not only a fine musician, he is a fine young man. Anyone would be happy to have him in their band. He is a tremendous asset to any musical experience”
“Roy Assaf is an amazing pianist – you will definitely be learning a lot of good things about him.”
“Roy Assaf marries tradition, both American and Israeli, into a new form of jazz. This type of culturally relevant music is vital for the future of jazz. I am certain that his musical contribution will earn many followers.”
Breaking into the music scene only a few years ago, pianist Roy Assaf has already earned acclaim from jazz masters Kenny Barron and Jason Moran. With appearances on 20 albums as a sideman and co-leader, Roy’s first album as a leader—titled “Respect” and being released on Jazz Legacy Productions—includes such remarkable players as Reuben Rogers on bass, Greg Hutchinson on drums and special guests Roy Hargrove on trumpet and Eric Alexander on saxophone. Roy arrived in New York in the Autumn of 2005 with a dream of pursuing his musical career. Shortly after that, he was invited to join the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band on piano for an extended European tour consisting of 13 cities, as well as additional performances in Canada, Puerto Rico, and one week at the famed Blue Note in New York City. Since that time, he has been steadily working both with small groups as well as big bands in various venues and festivals around the world. In accompanying these famous groups, Roy has had the honor of sharing the stage with such jazz legends as Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart and many more. Moreover, Roy has performed with numerous individual artists including Randy Brecker, Lewis Nash, T.S. Monk, Barry Harris, Dr. Billy Taylor, Claudio Roditi, Steve Davis, John Lee, Ron Carter, Wallace Roney, Buster Williams and Trilok Gurtu, among other world-renowned musicians. Having been awarded numerous honors, Roy earned the 31st Annual Downbeat Student Award for Outstanding Performance, the 2008 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, the 2nd place honor for the Charlie Palmieri Memorial piano Competition, the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute Award, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians and the 30th Annual Downbeat Student Award for Best Jazz Arrangement. Roy currently plays with the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, the Winard Harper Sextet, The John Lee Quartet, the Sharel Cassity Quintet, the Victor Bastidas Project, the Alex Terrier Quartet, Augmented Reality, the Nir Naaman Quartet, the Michael Dease Big-Band and NYConnection.
Innovation and as-yet-unheard-of ideals tend to sell headlines in jazz, but they mean nothing without respect for those who paved the road to the present. Many young emerging talents seem content to walk into jazz without doing their due diligence in discovery and digestion, but that often puts them in a peculiar position of being a mouthpiece for a music that they don't fully embrace. Jazz is certainly the here-and-now, but it's also the there-and-then, and that's a concept that lives at the heart of pianist Roy Assaf's work. For his debut album on Jazz Legacy Productions, the Israeli-born, New York-based pianist takes on the history of the music, tackling ten songs associated with ten important piano personalities, and adding two of his own for good measure. The usual suspects, like Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea, are given acknowledgement, but Assaf avoids the usual material associated with these legends; "Blue Monk," "Watermelon Man" and "Armando's Rhumba" are nowhere to be found. Instead, Assaf delivers "Brake's Sake," minus Monk's percussive touch, "Textures," which comes off as atmospheric and airy with bass clarinet, guitar and wind chimes rounding out the sound, and "Eternal Child," which captures Corea's essence and Spanish heart. Elsewhere, he nods to Count Basie with a simple and appealing "Easy Does It," honors Keith Jarrett with a spellbinding, but misspelled, "Prisim," and gives Oscar Peterson a moment in the sun with "Hymn To Freedom." The majority of the material is built around the trio of Assaf, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson, with an occasional guest thrown in for good measure, but McCoy Tyner's "Fly With The Wind," along with the aforementioned "Textures," benefit from big casts. Bassist/producer John Lee arranged both of these numbers and he deserves a great deal of credit for bringing out the best in two songs that have the potential to sound dated but never fall prey to that outcome. Assaf's willingness to inject his own personality into these songs is notable and wise. He might not have the chops of a Peterson, power of a Tyner or duende of Danilo Perez, but nobody else truly does either. Those personal, identifying characteristics defined those artists and, while Assaf honors them here and he's more than happy to have some of their magic rub off on him, he gets the fact that he can't be any one of them. He charts his own course through their music and it usually works. After all the tributes are said and done, he delivers two of his own pieces to prove the point that he's his own man. The gentle and poetic "Guardian Angels" and the devious "Gozo" cap off a fine a collection of music. Respect, Vol. 1 takes on jazz as all that it was, all that it is, and all that it can be, and who could ask for anything more?
- DAN BILAWSKY, All About Jazz
Roy Assaf is a New York based jazz pianist and composer. Born in Beer Sheba, he studied at Tel Aviv Conservatory, Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music, from which he received an MA in May, 2008. In 2008, he was one of 21 individuals to receive an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Young Jazz Composer award for age group 18-29. Assaf has also won the 31st Down Beat Student Award for Outstanding Performance, 2nd place in the Charlie Palmieri Memorial Piano Competition, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute Award, America Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians and the 30th Down Beat Student Award for Best Jazz Arrangement.