print gohome
jpost
 
Print Edition
Photo by: Courtesy
Einav’s way
By BARRY DAVIS
12/12/2013
Jazz saxophonist Shauli Einav will perform here, showcasing material from his latest album.
 
Shauli Einav has never gone for the easy route. The Parisbased Israeli-born jazz saxophonist is on a visit to Israel to perform in Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and Haifa between December 19 and 28, where he will showcase material from his latest album, A Truth About Me.

Einav, 31, has been plying his craft around the globe for eight years now. He has accumulated a wealth of academic know-how and street-level nous on the way, steadfastly following his own path to artistic excellence.

“I didn’t go through Thelma,” he notes, referring to the Thelma Yellin School of the Arts in Givatayim, which has produced many of our top jazz artists who went on to study and perform in New York and elsewhere around the globe. “I was outside all of that.”

Einav, who hails from Moshav Kfar Uria near Beit Shemesh, started out on his musical road on a quintessentially “Jewish” instrument.

“I began studying violin at four and a half,” he recalls. “I played until I was about 10, but I didn’t really like it. I like classical music, but I didn’t like the teachers. They were too strict.”

Things began to gather pace when Einav relocated to the Boyer boarding school in Jerusalem.

“My older brother went there, and I saw how much he enjoyed it, so I thought I’d try it out,” he recounts. It was there that he first set his hands on a saxophone.

“I’d tried drums, and I tried out on piano at the school but I didn’t like it. Then a teacher told me there was a place in the saxophone class, and I thought why not? I liked the way the instrument looked, with all those keys,” he says.

Things went well with the new instrument from the word go.

“I found it very easy to get to going with the saxophone and was glad to see I could do something and make good sounds from the start. It’s not the like the trumpet, which is a difficult instrument to play,” he explains.

He also got some help from an overseas relative.

“I remember when I started on saxophone, an aunt of mine from the United States brought me a sort of compilation album of Charlie Parker. I really got into it and learned all the tunes,” he says.

From Parker, he progressed to a more contemporary purveyor of saxophone sounds.

“Just before I went to the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, I went to the Third Ear record store in Tel Aviv and asked the guy there who was going to perform at the festival and he mentioned [saxophonist] George Coleman. I asked him if he had a CD by Coleman, and he gave me [1987 release] Live at Yoshi’s,” he recounts.

It proved to be an inspired choice.

“I used to listen to Parker and it was great, but I didn’t really listen to it consciously. But I really got into the Coleman disc,” he says.

Soon after that, Einav encountered the work of another iconic figure of the jazz fraternity.

“I got into John Coltrane. I had cassettes of all sorts of records of his, especially Coltrane Plays the Blues, because my teacher wanted me to get into the blues. There’s a great number on that called ‘Blues for Elvin.’ And I used to go [now defunct Jerusalem record store] Balance, and there was an English guy there called Mark. He introduced me to the work of guys like [saxophonist] Hank Mobley and [pianist] Herbie Hancock, and I’d read all the liner notes. It was like a voyage of discovery, with all those stories in the notes,” he recalls.

Einav seems to has the knack for being in the right place at the right time and encountering people who help him to the next Shauli Einav has never gone for the easy route. The Parisbased Israeli-born jazz saxophonist is on a visit to Israel to perform in Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and Haifa between December 19 and 28, where he will showcase material from his latest album, A Truth About Me.

Einav, 31, has been plying his craft around the globe for eight years now. He has accumulated a wealth of academic know-how and street-level nous on the way, steadfastly following his own path to artistic excellence.

“I didn’t go through Thelma,” he notes, referring to the Thelma Yellin School of the Arts in Givatayim, which has produced many of our top jazz artists who went on to study and perform in New York and elsewhere around the globe. “I was outside all of that.”

Einav, who hails from Moshav Kfar Uria near Beit Shemesh, started out on his musical road on a quintessentially “Jewish” instrument.

“I began studying violin at four and a half,” he recalls. “I played until I was about 10, but I didn’t really like it. I like classical music, but I didn’t like the teachers. They were too strict.”

Things began to gather pace when Einav relocated to the Boyer boarding school in Jerusalem.

“My older brother went there, and I saw how much he enjoyed it, so I thought I’d try it out,” he recounts. It was there that he first set his hands on a saxophone.

“I’d tried drums, and I tried out on piano at the school but I didn’t like it. Then a teacher told me there was a place in the saxophone class, and I thought why not? I liked the way the instrument looked, with all those keys,” he says.

Things went well with the new instrument from the word go.

“I found it very easy to get to going with the saxophone and was glad to see I could do something and make good sounds from the start. It’s not the like the trumpet, which is a difficult instrument to play,” he explains.

He also got some help from an overseas relative.

“I remember when I started on saxophone, an aunt of mine from the United States brought me a sort of compilation album of Charlie Parker. I really got into it and learned all the tunes,” he says.

From Parker, he progressed to a more contemporary purveyor of saxophone sounds.

“Just before I went to the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, I went to the Third Ear record store in Tel Aviv and asked the guy there who was going to perform at the festival and he mentioned [saxophonist] George Coleman. I asked him if he had a CD by Coleman, and he gave me [1987 release] Live at Yoshi’s,” he recounts.

It proved to be an inspired choice.

“I used to listen to Parker and it was great, but I didn’t really listen to it consciously. But I really got into the Coleman disc,” he says.

Soon after that, Einav encountered the work of another iconic figure of the jazz fraternity.

“I got into John Coltrane. I had cassettes of all sorts of records of his, especially Coltrane Plays the Blues, because my teacher wanted me to get into the blues. There’s a great number on that called ‘Blues for Elvin.’ And I used to go [now defunct Jerusalem record store] Balance, and there was an English guy there called Mark. He introduced me to the work of guys like [saxophonist] Hank Mobley and [pianist] Herbie Hancock, and I’d read all the liner notes. It was like a voyage of discovery, with all those stories in the notes,” he recalls.

Einav seems to has the knack for being in the right place at the right time and encountering people who help him to the next Shauli Einav has never gone for the easy route. The Parisbased Israeli-born jazz saxophonist is on a visit to Israel to perform in Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and Haifa between December 19 and 28, where he will showcase material from his latest album, A Truth About Me.

Einav, 31, has been plying his craft around the globe for eight years now. He has accumulated a wealth of academic know-how and street-level nous on the way, steadfastly following his own path to artistic excellence.

“I didn’t go through Thelma,” he notes, referring to the Thelma Yellin School of the Arts in Givatayim, which has produced many of our top jazz artists who went on to study and perform in New York and elsewhere around the globe. “I was outside all of that.”

Einav, who hails from Moshav Kfar Uria near Beit Shemesh, started out on his musical road on a quintessentially “Jewish” instrument.

“I began studying violin at four and a half,” he recalls. “I played until I was about 10, but I didn’t really like it. I like classical music, but I didn’t like the teachers. They were too strict.”

Things began to gather pace when Einav relocated to the Boyer boarding school in Jerusalem.

“My older brother went there, and I saw how much he enjoyed it, so I thought I’d try it out,” he recounts. It was there that he first set his hands on a saxophone.

“I’d tried drums, and I tried out on piano at the school but I didn’t like it. Then a teacher told me there was a place in the saxophone class, and I thought why not? I liked the way the instrument looked, with all those keys,” he says.

Things went well with the new instrument from the word go.

“I found it very easy to get to going with the saxophone and was glad to see I could do something and make good sounds from the start. It’s not the like the trumpet, which is a difficult instrument to play,” he explains.

He also got some help from an overseas relative.

“I remember when I started on saxophone, an aunt of mine from the United States brought me a sort of compilation album of Charlie Parker. I really got into it and learned all the tunes,” he says.

From Parker, he progressed to a more contemporary purveyor of saxophone sounds.

“Just before I went to the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, I went to the Third Ear record store in Tel Aviv and asked the guy there who was going to perform at the festival and he mentioned [saxophonist] George Coleman. I asked him if he had a CD by Coleman, and he gave me [1987 release] Live at Yoshi’s,” he recounts.

It proved to be an inspired choice.

“I used to listen to Parker and it was great, but I didn’t really listen to it consciously. But I really got into the Coleman disc,” he says.

Soon after that, Einav encountered the work of another iconic figure of the jazz fraternity.

“I got into John Coltrane. I had cassettes of all sorts of records of his, especially Coltrane Plays the Blues, because my teacher wanted me to get into the blues. There’s a great number on that called ‘Blues for Elvin.’ And I used to go [now defunct Jerusalem record store] Balance, and there was an English guy there called Mark. He introduced me to the work of guys like [saxophonist] Hank Mobley and [pianist] Herbie Hancock, and I’d read all the liner notes. It was like a voyage of discovery, with all those stories in the notes,” he recalls.

Einav seems to has the knack for being in the right place at the right time and encountering people who help him to the next stage in his artistic development.

“I am happy it happened like that, in an exploratory way,” says Einav. “Today, people go into YouTube and are straightway exposed to millions of things. With me, it happened gradually and under my own steam. Today there is so much information, but they say that information is not knowledge.”

When Einav discovered alternative Tel Aviv jazz venue Hagada Hasmalit, his musical vistas broadened even more, and he began to think about furthering his craft in the States.

“There were all sorts of guys who studied and played in New York, like [bass player] Omer Avital and [saxophonist] Eli Degibri, and I thought maybe I’d try my luck over there.”

In the interim, Einav completed a bachelor’s degree at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, followed by a master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he came under the experienced wing of saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, among others.

On completing his master’s, he relocated to the Big Apple and worked his way into the jazz scene, performing at places like Smalls and Fat Cat and mixing it with musicians in the New York jazz community. Just over a year ago he moved to Paris with his opera singer wife and now performs mainly in Europe.

A Truth About Me, which came out this year, is Einav’s fourth release and is a highly mature offering.

“I placed some limits on myself when I wrote some of the material,” he says. “Some of the numbers have a serial base line, which involves using all 12 tones without repeating them. I wanted to see what I could do with a base line that wasn’t necessarily tonal or melodic and to build onto that an envelope that is beautiful and melodic. I don’t know if I will use that approach again, but it gave me a good starting point.” The fruits of Einav’s delineated labors are, indeed, melodic and attractive to the ear.

“You always need to kick-start the creative process,” he continues.

“The muse doesn’t just appear. You have to work at things again and again. You can walk down the street, and suddenly a tune will find its way into your head; but you generally have to work at it.”

While Einav’s music largely conveys a sunny disposition, there is some sadness, too, behind his creative process. The new album, which contains 10 self-penned tracks, includes a number called “One for Alex,” which he wrote about a friend who died in the army.

“And there is another composition I wrote about a friend who was hospitalized, and another was inspired by Arnie,” he says. The “Arnie” in question is Arnie Lawrence, the American jazz saxophonist and educator who moved from New York to Jerusalem in the late 1990s and set up a school in Ein Kerem. Several generations of our best burgeoning jazz artists owe much of their artistic growth to Lawrence.

Lawrence died eight years ago at age 66 but left a musical legacy that has spread worldwide.

Now Einav is keeping the Israeli jazz flag flying high across Europe.

Shauli Einav will perform on Dec.19 at Shapira House in Petah Tikva (Tel: (03) 905-2349); Dec. 21 at Hecht House in Haifa; Dec. 24 at the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem (Tel: (02) 679-4040, www.yellowsubmarine.org.il); and Dec. 28 at Ozen Bar in Tel Aviv (Tel: (03) 621- 5200; www.ozenbar.com).
print gohome
print
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.