Uri Gurvich's new album, Kinship (available September 8 on the Jazz Family label), presents original work influenced by Gurvich's multicultural heritage as the son of Argentinian immigrants in Israel, and by his global quartet featuring musicians from around the world. A celebration of many traditions, Kinship deals with tribal and familial connections between different cultures and individuals, representing "kinship" in various forms.
The quartet, which has been performing together for the past decade, features some of the most prominent voices on the international jazz scene: Argentinian pianist Leo Genovese, known for his work with Esperanza Spalding; Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov, a member of Joe Lovano's Us Five; and the Cuban drummer Francisco Mela, who holds the much-coveted drum chair in the McCoy Tyner's trio.
On the song "El Chubut," Gurvich invited Bernardo Palombo, an Argentinian folklore master and torchbearer of Latin culture and arts in New York City since the 70's, who has worked with Mercedes Sosa, Phillip Glass and Pete Seeger, among others, to sing and write lyrics to Gurvich's theme.
This album finds the quartet recording at its peak after performing at venues such as the Village Vanguard, Town Hall and numerous festivals in the U.S. and abroad, sharing their message of global unity.
The music on the albumdeals with the different meanings of "kinship", whether celebrating family and folkloric traditions ("Song for Kate", "Im Tirzti", "Kinship", "Ha'im Ha'im") or reflecting on various aspects of kin relations ("El Chubut"). In addition, the music deals with differences, divisions or uniqueness in society due to belonging to a certain group or tribe ("Dance of the Nanigos", "Twelve Tribes", "Go Down Moses", "Blue Nomad").
Song for Kate- the album opener, and a song that Gurvich wrote for his wife celebrating marriage and the bond between two people.
Dance of the Ñañigos- A song dedicated to Cuban culture influenced also by Gurvich's drummer, Francisco Mela. The ñañigos are members of the secret Afro-Cuban Abakuá society. Ñañigos was also a word used to describe the street dancers of the society. The Abakuá was a secret and hermetic society for 160 years till some of their secrets were revealed in the 19th century.
El Chubut - "I wrote this composition for my grandmothers who were born in Argentina and immigrated to Israel in the 70's. Chubut is a desert province in southern Argentina," said Gurvich. Chubut was also the home to one of the most famous prisons for political prisoners during the dictatorship (late 70's-mid 80's). The poem, 'Vamos Andando' (meaning - "we keep going") starting the song is written by one of the prisoners and was found in a notebook that was smuggled out by a visitor. Additional lyrics were written and sung by special guest Bernardo Palumbo.
Twelve Tribes- is a Middle Eastern and Balkan influenced composition inspired by Gurvich's bassist, Peter Slavov. Humans have come together to form tribes since the ancient past, celebrating common lineage, traditions, language, way of life, etc. The name comes from the twelve tribes of Israel.
Im Tirtzi- a love song by one's of Israel most important folk composers, Sasha Argov. (Translation - 'if you would like an orange', or 'can I offer you an orange?'). "Im Tirtzi" is a well-known song in Israel, especially popular during the 70's-80's. "For me, it is an optimistic song I grew up hearing on the radio and TV and celebrates bonding with family," commented Gurvich.
Go Down Moses- "a song celebrating multiple traditions," said Gurvich. "First off as an African-American spiritual describing the struggle from slavery to freedom, and also for me it's a song sung during Passover telling the story of the Israelites in the land of Egypt, from slavery to freedom. I found common ground in these two histories, dealing with oppression and division based on race and religion. Of course this story is very relevant in today's society as well."
Kinship- the title track of the album explores a play on major and minor keys, dealing with both ends of the emotional spectrum associated with kin relationships - happy/sad, bright/dark, positive/negative, etc. - but ultimately prioritizing the warmth and calmness one feels once they're part of a family, tribe, etc.
Blue Nomad- the melody is influenced by Middle Eastern modes while the groove is influenced by Latin rhythms. Gurvich explains, "I was trying to connect these cultures that are both central to my own identity. In addition, the form is based on the Blues, so ultimately I was trying to create an affinity between these three different worlds."
Hermetos- influenced by the music of Brazil's Hermeto Pascoal, who among other great national composers captures the sound of their culture/region (similar to Sasha Argov). "I think that these composers are able to beautifully transmit the connections between music and their local culture/heritage in their compositions," said Gurvich.
Ha'im Ha'im- another song by Sasha Argov. This is a classic song of the 'old Israel'. Gurvich elaborated, "I tried to give it a twist influenced by the John Coltrane composition, 'Spiritual'. I find some of Argov's music to have the same folk, blues and gospel sensibilities of the music that Coltrane was influenced by during the early 60's."
NYC CD Release Celebration: August 25 & 26 @ The Stone
Uri Gurvich Quartet
Feat. Luis Perdomo, Peter Slavov, Johnathan Blake
& special guest Bernardo Palombo
55 W 13th St. New York, NY 10011
Uri Gurvich's Other Upcoming Tour Dates:
September 11, 2017 @ B-Flat, Berlin
Uri Gurvich Quartet
September 14th, 2017 @ Jaffa Jazz Festival, Jaffa, Israel
with Billy Cobham Ensemble
October 21st, 2017 @ Puffin Cultural Forum, Teaneck, NJ
Uri Gurvich Quartet
October 25th - November 5th, 2017 - European Tour
With Kenneth Dhal Knudsen's Téte
Oct. 25th - Zmiana Klimatu, Bialystok, Poland
Oct. 26th - 12on14, Warsaw, Poland
Oct. 27th - B-flat, Berlin, Germany
Oct. 28th - Jazztochowa, Czestochowa, Poland
Oct. 30th - Drewsens, Silkeborg, Denmark
Oct. 31st - Utzon Center, Aalborg, Denmark
Nov. 1st - Master class, Koge, Denmark
Nov. 2nd - Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov. 3rd - Pashkevich Jazzclub, Riga, Latvia
Nov. 4th - The Jazz Cellar, Vilnius, Latvia
Nov. 5th - Recording - Republica, Lubzka, Poland
November 7th, 2017 @ Sunset/Sunside, Paris, France
Uri Gurvich Quartet - Parisian CD release celebration!
January 9th - 14th, 2018 @ The Stone
Uri Gurvich's Residency at The Stone, feat. various bands