Tamir Hendelman brings his jazz trio to Sculler's tomorrow night. If you're like me, you might be wary of checking out a concert based on the few details available from a calendar listing... He's Israeli -- Israel has produced some great music, but that doesn't really tell us enough. He's backed some pretty impresive singers, including playing on Barbra Streisand's most recent album... and her Oprah appearance. Again, that speaks to his talent, but backing a singer is a different sort of gig than fronting a trio.
But, dear readers, fret not. I am hear to help, having just spent the last day listening to his most recent album, Destinations. Here's the short version: it's good. Very good. The music is inviting and accessible to jazz novices and afficianados alike, firmly rooted in the great jazz trio tradition of Shelley Manne & His Men, Andre Previn & Friends, the Oscar Peterson Trio, and the like. If you're not a regular listener of jazz, you'll love the trio's sound -- it's piano, bass, and drums with no frills and lots of exciting interplay among the musicians.
With songs ranging from classic ("On the Street Where You Live") to classical (a jazz take on Ravel's "Le Trombeau de Couperin") to originals by Hendelman himself, it's clear that our tourguide is bringing us to his very favorite Destinations. In his own words:
"Making this record was a very special experience. It started from just choosing some songs that I love, and I was putting these together, it was bringing back memories... That's what Destinations is. It's not just the places we go to, but the people that inspire us, the music that touches us."
Want a lengthier preview? Here's the trio performing "Wrap Your Trouble in Dreams":
If that doesn't set your toes a tappin' and your fingers a'dialin' (the phone to order tickets, that is), then I don't know what would.
David Levy is the marketing director of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. From 2010 to 2013, he was editor of JewishBoston.com.