Cardamon Quartet | Reflections of The Road

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Reflections of The Road

by Cardamon Quartet

Reflections of the Road is a musical fantasy of a peaceful Middle-East where people of diverse traditions collaborate to invent a new culture. Influenced by traditional Israeli folk songs, Turkish Gypsy music, classical Arabic music, and even samba.
Genre: World: Klezmer
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Shir Ha'emek
8:04 $0.99
2. Reflections of the Road
7:08 $0.99
3. Gaagua
6:44 $0.99
4. El Ginat Egoz
3:39 $0.99
5. Hehalil
5:15 $0.99
6. Time is a River
5:29 $0.99
7. Samai Naawather
8:21 $0.99
8. Yesh li Kineret
5:24 $0.99
9. Tickling Eyes I
3:58 $0.99
10. Tickling Eyes II
6:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Defying category, redrawing lines of separation or setting up camp where musical worlds converge: whatever you choose to call it, The Cardamon Quartet does it boldly. Incorporating disparate musical influences like traditional Jewish folk melodies, Latin American and Middle Eastern grooves and heaping handfuls of jazz sensitivity, the group's debut disc is as dark yet sweet as their namesake. Reflections of the Road will feel familiar to any world traveler who's found themselves drastically outside their comfort zone and loving it. With masterfully crafted arrangements and subtle, evocative improvisation the band's maturity is as obvious as it is precious. Their delivery of the challenging material is consistently intent and intense. Mostly Israeli, the quartet is made up of NY jazzers Gilad Harel (clarinet, sax), Dan Aran (drums, percussion), Jennifer Vincent (bass) and bandleader/composer Uri Sharlin (piano, accordion). Though all thoroughly competent, The Cardamon Quartet is clearly more than the sum of it's parts, well balanced a musical from start to finish. Alongside albums like Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, The Cardamon Quartet and Reflections of the Road will surely end up on short lists of world music pioneers and East/West musical innovators"

Evan C. Gutierrez, all music guide

“…Elegantly intertwine elements of classical, jazz and world folk into a new sound. As evidenced throughout the evening, they do so by presenting precisely played ethnically inspired original compositions in an exciting modern jazz context… Exceedingly well-put together session…a wonderfully free flowing accordionist”

Elliott Simon, All About Jazz NY

- Hot House jazz says:

"From the very first track, it's apparent that this particular road passes through exotic hamlets in Turkey, Arabia and beyond...Classy and compelling stuff!"

-Global Rhythm Magazine says:

“The playing by all group members is solid throughout … charming clarinet and accordion interplay...”

The album Reflections of the Road reached first place on list of This week's most significant new releases - Middle Eastern and among Editor’s pick for more than 4 months on - Judaica.

-The Cardamon Quartet was invited to play at prestigious concert series at Trinity Church - Manhattan. more details coming up.

“Reflections of the Road” contains both original music as well as Jewish and Arabic traditional melodies, specially arranged for the Cardamon Quartet .

Uri Sharlin and the Cardamon Quartet

Accordionist, pianist and composer Uri Sharlin is a bonafide innovator, synthesizing melodies from around the Mediterranean Sea with world rhythms into an entirely new music that breathes joyfulness and melancholy with tremendous expressive clarity. Sharlin also draws upon the influences of avant-garde jazz, classical, rumba and Brazilian samba; arriving to New York City in 1998, Uri started studying with jazz legends Jackie Byard and Arthuro O’Farrrell. While getting exposed to music form Latin America, he eventually traveled for long periods to Brazil in order to investigate more of the rich musical culture and language. In 2003, Sharlin started his own group, the Cardamon Quartet, where he blends his early influences from the Mediterranean, with those of the Americas. The group plays mostly Sharlin’s compositions along with rearranged traditional folk songs from his native region.

The Cardamon Quartet's other members, each brings his or her unique personality and expression to create the group's novel musical sound: classically trained cellist/bassist Jennifer Vincent is the regular bassist at the Ellington Orchestra, who also integrates jazz into her cello playing; reeds player, Harel Shachal, is an expert in Arabic music and at the New School has designed and teaches the only class in New York City on the art of Taqsim (Mid-Eastern improvisation style); drummer/percussionist Dan Aran is one of the most prominent jazz drummers in New York. Besides performing regularly with such jazz legends as Ron Affif and Junior Mance, Dan also plays with leading ethnic ensembles in New York and Israel.

Folk Dune Records

Uri Sharlin- piano / accordion
Harel Shachal - saxophone / Turkish clarinet
Jennifer Vincent - Bass / cello
Dan Aran - drums / percussion
Musical arrangement / compositions - Uri Sharlin
Produced by Uri Sharlin
Recorded by Randy Crafton, Kaleidoscopesound, Union City, New Jersey
Mastered by Allen tucker, foothill studios

For more information please visit our new websites and

also, check our live video web cast from the trinity church on wall street, New York, with guest artist Amir ElSaffar and Gaida!



to write a review

Elliott Simon - All ABout Jazz

Exceedingly well-put together session...a wonderfully free flowing accordionist
...Reflections of the Road is a spicy jazz journey down thoroughfares that range from straightahead boulevards to decidedly off-the-beaten-paths. “Shir Ha’emek” starts down one such unassuming road, only to stray delightfully into some unchartered jazz/classical/Middle Eastern territory. Joining Sharlin and Vincent are Harel Shachal (saxophones and clarinet) and Dan Aran (percussion). On this exceedingly well-put together session, Shachal’s G-clarinet adds a Turkish feel that melds quite nicely with Sharlin’s expressive piano and Vincent’s arco stylings. The title cut, along with “Hehalil” and “Gaagua,” give Sharlin ample opportunity to show his sensitive pianistic touch, while “El Ginat Egoz” and “Yesh Li Keneret” present a wonderfully free flowing accordionist. “Samai Naawather” has Vincent touching your heart strings with hers, and “Tickling Eyes” is a band tour de force, with Shachal blowing up a desert storm...

Inbal Drukker

Outstanding and innovative twists to authentic melodies
Outstanding and innovative twists to authentic melodies, which makes the listening experience a most pleasurable one.

Hot House

Classy and compelling stuff!
From the very first track, it's apparent that this particular road passes through exotic hamlets in Turkey, Arabia and beyond...Classy and compelling stuff!

Tom Jeckson - Global Rhythm Magazine

Drawing on pan-Mediterranean inspirations...the playing by all group members is
...Harel Schachel’s clarinet swoops in and out, while Sharlin’s piano provides an insistent rhythmic and chordal swell underneath. A particular highlight is “El Ginat Egoz,” where guest percussionists add oriental rhythms to Sharlin’s accordion. The playing by all group members is solid throughout, particularly the delicate touches on the lovely “Yesh Li Kineret,” which features charming clarinet and accordion interplay...

Chris Ruel

boundary-stretching collection...that comes with the highest recommendations for
Reflections of the Road is a fascinating collection of world music arrangements featuring largely Middle-Eastern, Turkish, and Mediterranean flavored motifs that are fused with gypsy, jazz, and other styles contemporary music. Alto saxist, clarinetist, and master of the Middle-Eastern maqams (similar to European, classical modes), Harel Shachal, interleaves an unending, continuous stream of mesmerizingly lyrical themes that take the listener on an epic voyage through exotic, foriegn lands far away and perhaps, from times long past. Uri Sharlin balances Shachal's striking themes with an unusual style of piano and accordion accompaniment that thoughtfully fuses the Middle-Eastern, Turkish, and Mediterranean tonal and lexical qualities with elements of jazz, contemporary, and gypsy music. Jennifer Vincent contributes an exquisite dimension to the quartet with a spellbinding style of bass and cello that augments the rich sonic texture with her own innovative fusion of classical, jazz, and contemporary techniques that she seamlessly and sensibly applies to the intricate and exotic arrangements. Facilitating the fourth support of the bridging of Middle-Eastern and Western music, Dan Aran furnishes the eclectic soundscape with tactful rhythmic foundations that subtly intertwine traditional rhythms with jazz and contemporary rhythms. The overall judicious combination of the striking tonality, complex timing, odd meters, and exotic, traditional lexicons with complementary facets of Western music produces a hypnotically compelling sound that stimulates and warms the listener's ear like the savory cuisine of the Middle-Eastern and Turkish regions followed by a strong cup of cardamon-spiked coffee.

The musical style of the quartet is marked by numerous characteristic features that distinguish the resulting original sound. The instrumental array that matches the distinctive sounds of alto sax, clarinet, accordian, and percussive instruments to the conventional sounds (from a Western perspective) of cello, bass, piano, and drums is vital to the signature texture that characterizes the quartet's progressive fashion. Shachal's serpentine alto sax and clarinet melodies possess a genuine, exotic quality that draws from a deep knowledge and firm grasp on the Middle-Eastern maqams (modes) and gifted interpretation of quarter tones that are used in the traditional Middle-Eastern music and reside between the semitones of the European chromatic scale. The lexicons that Shachal enunciates in his captivating themes is entirely disparate from European-derived music, though the manner the group craftily fuses these intriguing melodies with Western motifs and instrumentation enticingly bridges the chasm between East and West, thereby making the exotic tunes more easily accessible to a Western-cultivated ear. Additionally, the accentuated manners that Shachal fluently expresses these mysterious lexicons encompasses a number of flavorful, animated dialects from the Eastern Mediterranean regions. Sharlan prudently integrates his precariously edgy piano and accordian progressions and tune smithing that offer the Western listener some comfort with the commonality of the Western influences, though Uri continually presses the boundaries Eastward with the infusion of Eastern Mediterranean tonality, outside harmonization, and exotic melodies that he constantly weaves into and evolves out of the shifty baseline that his cunning key tones provide. The piano lines are at once seemingly jazz or contemporary, though the next bar fuses Eastern and Western lexicons bridging to a more strictly traditional Middle-Eastern tune in the subsequent bars, often reiterating or reinforcing the theme that Shachal voices on alto sax or clarinet. Vincent's bass work is sometimes finely blended to the background rhythm, though sublimely interesting to listen. At other times, Vincent brings her finesse with cello to the forefront demonstrating her own remarkable capabilities with the exotic Middle-Eastern tunes and nuances involved. All the while, Aran infuses an understated, discreet style of intricate percussion that unsuspectingly entrances the listener thereby making them more susceptible to the flowing lyricism that Shachal and Sharlan charm the listener.

Reflections of the Road is a highly entertaining musical effort from the aptly named Cardamon Quartet that delivers the sharply exotic flavors promised in their namesake. Fans of world music will enjoy this caravan-like adventure in Eastern Mediterranean and Arabic stylisms that is delicately sweetened with Western influences. Though the conducive accessibility of this music makes it appropriate for a general audience, musicians in particular may take a peeked interest in the captivating exhibition of Middle-Eastern, Arabic, Turkish, and gypsy lexicons and idioms that are craftily fused in the exceptional brand of world fusion contained on this album. Shachal and Sharlan demonstrate an impressive, virtuosic command over and genuine, comprehensive insight into the elements of these exotic musical lexis that serve as excellent illustrations of the genre. The quartet has achieved a superb equilibrium in striking the balance between the exotic and the lyrical, Middle-Eastern traditional and Western jazz / contemporary music, as well as progressive concepts and listener accessibility. Though seemingly subdued upon first listenings, the subtle approach the Cardamon Quartet cultivated on this effort steadily grows more pronounced in the psyche of the listener upon subsequent exposures, thereby ensuring sustainable listener enjoyment. This music contains numerous subtleties that require acclimation on the part of the listener to fully appreciate the significant talents of the quartet. But, much like a taste of Cardamon coffee or tea for the first time, what is at first alluringly strange, curiously unusual, and seemingly innocuous quickly becomes familiarly compelling and inescapably addictive. Avid followers of world fusion can nicely augment the Middle-Eastern section of their chic collections with this masterful, boundary-stretching collection of lyrical and exotic arrangements from the NYC-based Cardamon Quartet that comes with the highest recommendations for this genre.