Sing a song of URU with Daniel Sarid

The URU guys bided their time and worked through the material numerous times, in all sorts of situations, before they were ready to lay it down for posterity. Now it’s time to hear it live.

 DANIEL SARID: This music is so visceral and challenging that you need a human voice in there. (photo credit: CLAUS RICHTER)
DANIEL SARID: This music is so visceral and challenging that you need a human voice in there.
(photo credit: CLAUS RICHTER)

Daniel Sarid has never been one to follow the herd. For the past three decades, the 53-year-old jazz pianist has probed, examined, explored and engaged in no small amount of envelope-pushing to get to where he wants to be.

That comes across in the new album of the URU trio, which is currently being showcased at gigs around the country. 

The launch tour kicks off at the jazz club down in Mitzpeh Ramon on August 25, with explosive saxophonist Ori Kaplan guesting. That will be followed by a slot at the Hasedek venue in Jerusalem on August 27, with reedman Yoni Kretzmer adding his seasoned adventurous soul and sounds to the fray. The nationwide tour also takes in a show in Ra’anana (September 1) and a concert at Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim (September 3), winding up at Hateiva in Jaffa on September 6. 

The last two shows feature singer Noam Inbar, who earns a living as a singer-songwriter, composer and producer, and is a founding member of the post-punk band Habiluim. 

Inbar also lends his seasoned vocals to several tracks on the CD. It fits Sarid’s current artistic ethos which, he says, has been gradually and organically gestating for eight years. That corresponds to the time the pianist and his colleagues have been in sonic exploration, with bassist Nadav Meisel and drummer Ofer Beimel, playing and creating in personal and musical unison as a trio.  

 GROVE TO the jazz music of sax player Albert Beger and his Cosmos Ensemble this Wednesday (illustrative). (credit: Benjamin Lehman/Unsplash) GROVE TO the jazz music of sax player Albert Beger and his Cosmos Ensemble this Wednesday (illustrative). (credit: Benjamin Lehman/Unsplash)

“I am very happy with the end result [on the band’s eponymous album],” says Sarid. Then he surprises me. “This is the direction I have been taking – songs,” he adds. Songs? Anyone who has ever attended a gig in which Sarid has been involved, say, at the Levontin 7 club in Tel Aviv or at the Israel Museum where the band played in the Jerusalem Jazz Festival three years ago, will be surprised by that lyrical turn of events. 

The pianist’s avenue of musical attack has generally tended to wend and weave its way into areas that could be described as alien to ears more accustomed to pop and rock music, or even Beethoven et al. 

“This music is so visceral and challenging that you need a human voice in there,” he notes. “The instrumental side really digs deep and the human voice is so tender. I think that works well.” Having given the new record an online “spin” or two I can vouch for that.  

Sarid's long career

Sarid is one of the veterans of the left field music scene here, having spent six years in the Big Apple, studying at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, benefiting from the priceless guidance of eclectic jazz multi-instrumentalist Jaki Byard. 

While in New York he established himself on the avant-garde side of the jazz tracks, playing with such leading lights as bassist William Parker and drummer Chad Taylor, at venues like Knitting Factory and Tonic. On his return here he plied his craft at similarly leaning spots in Tel Aviv, like Hagadah Hasmalit, Levontin 7 – which he co-managed along with reedman and present sole owner Assif Tsahar, and classical conductor and experimental music artist Ilan Volkov – and the aforementioned Hateiva. URU is an extension of that developmental timeline. 

Sarid, Meisel and Beimel clearly wanted to be absolutely certain they’d hit the creative mark before going into the recording studio. The URU guys bided their time and worked through the material numerous times, in all sorts of situations, before they were ready to lay it down for posterity. Now it’s time to hear it live.

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