Amos Hoffman | Back to the City

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United States - South Carolina

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Back to the City

by Amos Hoffman

Straight ahead Jazz from Israel's best known guitarist! Featuring an all star line up that delights with a combination of moods and colors.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Easy Going
5:42 $0.99
2. After Lazy Noon
4:17 $0.99
3. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
1:50 album only
4. Back to the City
4:36 $0.99
5. Alone in South Carolina
5:10 $0.99
6. Pannonica
3:29 album only
7. Mr X
6:03 $0.99
8. Darn That Dream
3:27 album only
9. Little Pigs
6:28 $0.99
10. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
2:00 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This fifth recording by guitarist and oud player Amos Hoffman represents a return— not only to North America, but to a straight-ahead jazz concept.

Born in Jerusalem, Hoffman lived and worked in New York City throughout most of the 1990s, then spent 14 years in Israel. Now back on the US jazz scene, following three oud-oriented albums he presents us with distinctive renditions of four beloved jazz standards, as well as six new originals which have the feel of well-loved, familiar tunes.

In the winter of 2015 Hoffman assembled a cast of long-time collaborators — Omer Avital (bass), Vincent Ector (drums), Asaf Yuria (tenor saxophone), Duane Eubanks (trumpet), and guest Itai Kriss (flute) at Bunker Studios in Brooklyn. The players' familiarity made for an intimacy and natural, relaxed dynamic easlily discernible in the music.

Setting the mood is the opening "Easy Going" — a free-flowing bop romp written in real-time at one of Hoffman's gigs, featuring both Eubanks and Yuria. The tune flows into the breezy bossa nova "After Lazy Noon" which, as its playful title implies, conjures a lazy, sunny summer day. Showcasing Hoffman's light-hearted side, it features a catchy trumpet-sax unison line and captivating solo by Yuria.

The first of the album's covers, "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," written in 1932, is delivered by Hoffman solo; stripped down, the ballad abounds with tenderness and romance, as well as a touch of whimsy. The angular title track "Back in the City" follows, inspired by Hoffman's deep appreciation of Thelonious Monk. Perhaps the most impactful of Hoffman's musical influences, Monk's spirit is clearly felt in the writing as well as the guitarist's spirited solo.

"Alone in South Carolina" alludes to Hoffman's return to the US and the impact of gospel and country music on his compositions, featuring a deeply bluesy bass solo by Omer Avital. Next comes the guitarist's solo rendition of Monk's "Pannonica" (a tribute to "Bebop Baroness" Pannonica de Koenigswarter), permeating with emotional depth. "Mr. X" is a hard-swinging straight-ahead bop vehicle featuring the ever-eloquent Eubanks on trumpet as well as the dexterous, imaginative leader.

Hoffman's complex treatment of the classic "Darn That Dream," first performed in 1939, juxtaposes the tune's sweetness with a certain sense of dissonance — an aspect of life he seeks to explore and express. The Southern-inspired "Little Pigs" features Itai Kriss on flute, as well as compelling 4-bar trades between sax and trumpet. Closing the album is the timeless "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," which Hoffman has been listening to for decades, first hearing it at his grandmother's house as a child. Sans accompaniment, frills or improvisational sections, the melody is played by Hoffman with sensitivity and soulfulness, demonstrating his great gift for coaxing emotion out of his instrument.
— Sharonne Cohen



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