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Tamuz Nissim | Echo of a Heartbeat

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Type: Vocal
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Echo of a Heartbeat

by Tamuz Nissim

"Scatting, swinging, singing and working her way into your heart as well as your ears" Chris Spector Midwest record
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Time in a Bottle
5:52 $0.99
2. Fried Bananas
3:41 $0.99
3. My World
4:45 $0.99
4. Just Squeeze Me
5:17 $0.99
5. In the Melody's Shade
5:20 $0.99
6. Groovin' High
4:14 $0.99
7. Echo of a Heartbeat
4:26 $0.99
8. What a Little Moonlight Can Do
3:44 $0.99
9. Smile
4:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
I’ve been asked to write some liner notes for Tamuz Nissim’s new release, “Echo of a
Heartbeat.” But before I continue, let me ask you: Have you heard the lady sing? If you have,
stop reading right now, and just go push play, drop the needle, click on the download, listen. And
if you haven’t, you too might want to stop reading, and go give it a listen yourself, then come
back and we’ll tell you a thing or two. But there is really nothing I can tell you in print that your
ears won’t. But (if you’re still here, or have just come back), let’s tell you a few things anyway:

For her third album, Tamuz has concentrated on songs from the jazz repertoire (adding some
lyrics of her own to “Groovin’ High” and “Fried Bananas,” as well as a vocalese on“Smile.”)
Produced by Nissim and bassist Harvie S, the record is a journey through the heart as it
experiences that crazylovely little thing called love: its rhythms, upswings, downbeats…echoes.
Three of the tracks, as in her first two fine efforts (The Music Stays In A Dream, and Liquid
Melodies), are originals: “My World”, a luscious, lilting ballad; “In The Melody Shade,” hitting
right in Nissim’s melodic wheelhouse, with lyrics inspired by the Israeli modernist poet, Yehuda
Amichai; and the title track, “Echo of a Heartbeat,” which invites you to dive headlong into its
groove, swim around awhile, and get lifted up on the bridge supplied by George Nazos’ haunting
guitar. (Tamuz wrote this one night after observing the crowd in the New York jazz clubs at
dawn.) Dexter Gordon’s “Fried Bananas” is held down by the rhythm section while the other
cats make the time to fly and swing. As Dexter would say: “Bananas are bananas except when
they’re fried!” “Just Squeeze Me,” set off by Harvie S’ compelling basslines, turns Lee Gaines’
tune on its head: is this a plea, lament, command, request, mocking rebuff? Meanwhile, one is
unprepared for Tamuz’s take on Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle.” We’ve had loads of popular
songs reworked into a jazz idiom, but Nissim’s phrasing, not to mention James Weidman’s
jaunty piano work, renders this into something else entirely. The melancholy behind the vocals,
the doleful downbeat infused with the uplift in the keys, unearths the song’s inherent conflict,
that unreachable-reachable if only. Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High,” is also taken to another
place, a rare, minimalist track on the album, exclusively bass and vocals. One doesn’t know who
accompanies whom here, the scatting and the plucking are so perfectly integrated. And it doesn’t
matter: It’s mornin’, baby, get to work. The meaning of life indeed. After a swingin’ version of
Harry M. Wood’s classic “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” (to paraphrase Mr. Rawls: “It ain’t
easy to swing, but those who can, make it look that way”); Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” which
Nazos takes into flamenco territory, closes out the album. One can envision the Little Tramp
himself doing a slow spinning solo to this, his coattails dragging behind as the credits roll.

The temptation here is to say that the musicians on this release are a “bonus” that augment
Tamuz’s sublime vocals. But that would be an inaccurate representation of this thoroughly
seamless ensemble. (And believe me, as a show host on a New Orleans radio station, I’ve come
to know a little bit about seamless ensembles.) All the players are accomplished performers who
have worked with a host of remarkable vocalists: Bassist Harvie S, with Sheila Jordan, pianist
James Weidman with Abbey Lincoln's band and Tony Jefferson, who has a resume as long as his
two arms, not only kills with the sticks but is a great singer himself. Then there is George Nazos,
whose guitar work has lent an essential element to Nissim’s music for the last ten years.
“If words could make wishes come true,” goes the lyric in Croce’s standard. Well, as I was
saying before, you don’t need words. The songs here should do the trick. But maybe just one
word, from Tamuz’ home city of Tel Aviv, might suffice: Sababa!

 Dean Ellis is the host of “Tudo Bem,” and “The Dean’s List” on WWOZ-FM, 90.7 in New



to write a review

Dorith Eliav

Love it
Tamuz is getting better and better with each CD....
wonderful music and wonderful musicians ! Its never enough
I want to hear more...