Assif Tsahar & Hamid Drake - Soul Bodies, vol.1

Jan Strand, Orkesterjournalen

This duo recording from New York is much better than the quartet recording from Paris made some week's earlier.
The music is recorded at a festival for free jazz called "Vision", which last year took place for the sixth time and attentively now is issued by the Swedish label Ayler Records.

There are three long titles with sensitive interplay between Drake and Tsahar.
The introductory title "Soul Bodies" is based primarily on a repeated rhythm figure, which Drake very skilful keeps through the whole piece in spite of polyrhythmic "picnics".
Tsahar has a tonal starting-point for strong and creative playing on tenor saxophone and the two musicians keeps ones interest during the 26 minutes as the piece lasts - good!

In the next piece, Drake plays on drums with deep, duffel sound and chant sufistical words in Arabic. Tsahar who plays bass clarinet here borrows themes from Jewish folk music and the music gives by that an almost political approach as an Arabic/Jewish cooperation - much more low-voiced and meditative then the more explosive first piece.

The concluding piece is more expressive and directs the feelings to Coltrane`s duo collaboration with Rashid Ali.
Assif Tsahar is a new and interesting name on the free jazz scene in New York while Hamid Drake seams to move between Chicago and New York. He is much in request in both cities and that is not surprising, he is in all ways a master percussionist!!