Itamar Borochov - Arba

2023 CD release

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New York-based trumpeter and composer Itamar Borochov is proud to present Arba (Hebrew: “four”), his fourth album as a leader and first for Dave Douglas’ prestigious Greenleaf Music label. While the quartet instrumentation mirrors that of his previous releases Blue Nights and Boomerang, Arba marks the first appearance of Borochov’s earthy, expressive singing voice in a featured role on several tracks. It is also the fullest documentation to date of Borochov’s use of a custom Monette quarter-tone trumpet with four valves.

Vocally and on the horn, Borochov infuses his compositions with phrasing, inflection and ornamentation drawn from his deep study of maqamat, the scale system and musical language of traditional music of the Middle East and North Africa. The sound also stems from music he absorbed growing up attending a Sephardic synagogue in his native Jaffa (near Tel Aviv). Joining him on this vibrant all-original outing are pianist Rob Clearfield, bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jay Sawyer.

Borochov returned to Jaffa during the pandemic and laid the groundwork for an album that would “embrace elements that make up my own life path,” he writes in an album note. What we hear as a result, he continues, is “a musical language that originates from the stirring Middle Eastern sounds which have surrounded me since my childhood by the Mediterranean and traces my journey to the energy-infused streets of New York, studying the teachings of Barry Harris and exploring shared truths of oral traditions across boundaries of genre and nationality on the way.”

Arba marks Jay Sawyer’s third appearance with Borochov on record, and Rob Clearfield’s second. “These guys have pure hearts,” says the trumpeter. “We perceive music in a similar way, as a spiritual and emotional medium. What drives the music is a feeling, and Jay is an emotional player. Rob is well-versed in Western classical music, and the way he moves within a scale is more like a figured-bass type of thinking, which really works with the Middle Eastern modes in my music. Rob also has a strong blues and gospel background and that complements the music as well.”

New quartet member Rick Rosato, a colleague from Borochov’s New School days, “brings something very special to the group,” the leader says. “The bass is such a powerful center for any band, and that sometimes gets overlooked, but when you’re playing you feel it so strongly. Rick is a phenomenal bassist and we’re very good friends, so something really clicked. This is my first album not to feature my older brother Avri on bass, but I’m happy that I could include him playing oud on ‘Ya Sahbi,’ so there’s still that connection.”


SKU 850053189012
Barcode # 850053189012
Brand Greenleaf Music

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