Ido Bukelman and Yonatan Kretzmer are prime examples of the when-the-going-gets-tough-thetough- get-going ethos. The two young Jerusalemborn improvisational musicians have been putting out their free-wheeling artistic wares for some time now, sticking strictly to the more exploratory side of the jazz tracks. While not exactly playing to packed stadium- sized venues they, and an increasing number of like-minded envelope-pushing Israeli musicians, have nonetheless maintained a burgeoning performance continuum.

However, 30-year-old Jerusalemite guitarist Bukelman and 28-year-old saxophonist Kretzmer, who relocated to New York last year and is in Israel for some R&R, humus and local gigs, believe it is not enough just to create new musical vistas, you’ve simply got to get it out there. The upshot of that line of thought is the creation of Out Now Recordings, a new record label which caters to the less fettered side of the jazz tracks.

The label will be officially launched this Tuesday at a multi-artist concert at the Levontin 7 club in Tel Aviv with Bukelman and Kretzmer among the performing musicians for the evening, along with a host other luminaries of the local avant garde scene, plus some artists from abroad, such as saxophonist Albert Beger, US drummer Ehran Elisha and his classical pianist father Haim Elisha, and the grand old man of the free jazz scene here 79-year-old clarinetist Harold Rubin.

The creation of the label may very well prove to be an important landmark in the evolution of the Israeli improvisational music scene.

Ido Bukelman and Yonatan Kretzmer are prime examples of the when-the-going-gets-tough-thetough- get-going ethos. The two young Jerusalemborn improvisational musicians have been putting out their free-wheeling artistic wares for some time now, sticking strictly to the more exploratory side of the jazz tracks. While not exactly playing to packed stadium- sized venues they, and an increasing number of like-minded envelope-pushing Israeli musicians, have nonetheless maintained a burgeoning performance continuum.

However, 30-year-old Jerusalemite guitarist Bukelman and 28-year-old saxophonist Kretzmer, who relocated to New York last year and is in Israel for some R&R, humus and local gigs, believe it is not enough just to create new musical vistas, you’ve simply got to get it out there. The upshot of that line of thought is the creation of Out Now Recordings, a new record label which caters to the less fettered side of the jazz tracks.

The label will be officially launched this Tuesday at a multi-artist concert at the Levontin 7 club in Tel Aviv with Bukelman and Kretzmer among the performing musicians for the evening, along with a host other luminaries of the local avant garde scene, plus some artists from abroad, such as saxophonist Albert Beger, US drummer Ehran Elisha and his classical pianist father Haim Elisha, and the grand old man of the free jazz scene here 79-year-old clarinetist Harold Rubin.

The creation of the label may very well prove to be an important landmark in the evolution of the Israeli improvisational music scene.

“There is no substitute for releasing CDs,” states Kretzmer.

“Musicians have to make discs because for the last 100 years recording has been the way to get music out there.”

“There aren’t any labels for our kind of music in Israel,” interjects Bukelman.

“Musicians who make this kind of music don’t have anything to do with their material.”

For those used to more mainstream local and foreign musical output it may come as some surprise to learn that there are dozens of artists up and down the country who – with apologies to the Star Trek gang - constantly seek to go where no musician has gone before. Besides the musicians on call in Tel Aviv this Tuesday, the aforementioned include – to mention but a few – such adventurous souls as reedmen Yoni Silver, Ariel Shibolet, Assif Tsahar and Steve Horenstein, bassist-producer Jean-Claude Jones, bassist Shmil Frankel, pianists Maya Dunitz and Daniel Sarid, and drummers Hagai Fershtman and Ofer Beimel.

The Jerusalem Jazz Sessions series, which took place over the space of a couple of months in 2009, at the singularly picturesque Sergei’s Courtyard venue in the capital, proved that Israel has plenty to offer the global avant garde jazz community.

Bukelman says that, for him and his artistic cohorts, necessity is very much the mother of invention.

“I invested a lot of time and effort in my CD [Out Now Recordings release Cracked Song with cellist Yuval Mesner, bassist Assaf Hakimi and drummer Udi Shlomo]. Yoni put a lot into his quartet recording [Overlook, with Nitai Levi on bass clarinet, Shai Ran on double bass and Haim Peskoff on drums] – he recorded it twice.”

“These are serious projects and there is no serious vehicle here for getting them out to the public. Even the few places that might help to release our CDs don’t have any substantial relevant credo. They have no concept, they just put them out and that’s that.”

OUT NOW Recordings certainly takes its artists’ work seriously, and has laid down its musically and visually esthetic marker from the outset. The design of the first batch of six releases conveys a clear artistic and marketing philosophy. The graphic design work of the CD covers successfully rides the abstract-esthetically striking seam, and is patently planned to impart a succinctly defined message about the musical content of the products, and the goals of the label.

There are more releases planned in the coming months, and Bukelman and Kretzmer have no qualms about “swamping the market”.

“If there are 80 great recordings which should be made available to the public I’m all in favor of getting them out,” declares Kretzmer.

The Out Now duo are also keen to enlighten the jazzloving public, and say they are looking to offset what they see as some of the damage caused by misinformation on the scene.

“This is a jazz label and all the discs we have put out, and will put out, are jazz. But, because of events like the jazz festival in Eilat, and what the public hears there, people might think that what we do is not jazz,” states Bukelman.

“That is a mistake.”

Kretzmer, naturally, adheres to the same mindset.

“Jazz, like any art, has to look forward, it has to evolve,” he says.

“But at some stage, different people have different opinions about that, and about when it happened, a decision was made to stop that process of change, and they made jazz into a sort of museum piece.”

You won’t find standards in the Out Now Recordings offerings, only original material.

“We [Kretzmer, Bukelman and several other artists from within and outside the Out Now stable] played at a venue about a week ago and another band came on stage after us,” says Bukelman.

“What they played wasn’t even jazz.”

“It was a mutation of music which has almost turned into folklore,” adds Kretzmer.

“To my mind jazz was always anti-folklore. It came from folklore but, like classical music, it had to change in order to continue.”

One thing is for sure, musicians who prefer to explore the lesser known areas of artistic endeavor in this country are not going to go away and neither, it seems, is Out Now Recordings. Stay tuned.

The Out Now Recordings lunch concert will take place at Levontin 7 Club in Tel Aviv on Tuesday at 8 p.m. For more info: www.levontin7.com and (03) 560-5084.