Itamar Borochov ‘Boomerang’ (Laborie Jazz) 5/5

Israeli-born trumpet player Itamar Borochov is no stranger to the international jazz scene, having toured in Europe and Asia, and his second album, Boomerang, is a little stunner. Borochov has simply that kind of hold on the listeners’ sensibility that makes them want to hear more and more.
The album is filled with incredible top-notch musicianship and the quartet’s synergy is undeniable. Its members have an uncanny ability to communicate with each other, an apparently innate understanding of each other’s playing and a sense when to step in, lead a solo or let Itamar Borochov run with the melody. Teaming up with his brother Avri Borochov on bass, Michael King on piano and Jay Sawyer on drums, the album is replete with good tunes. Itamar Borochov oozes coolness throughout and through a range of tempos, offers us a mix of both soothing (Tangerines, Wanderer Song) and more funky jazz pieces (Jones Street, Jaffa Tune or Ca va bien).
Right from the opening notes of the first track, Tangerines, the listener knows he is in for an almost solid hour of excellent music. Borochov immediately hooks us with this poetic, albeit short, piece. His warm notes meshed with the shimmering piano give the piece a celestial feel about it. Borochov keeps the listeners on edge as he glides effortlessly into Shimshon, a seemingly simple melody at first, but which Borochov quickly morphs into a more contemporary offering. Backed up by the drums’ snappy rhythm, Michael King unfurls an impressive solo before Borochov returns with his teasing trumpet and expressive phrasing.

With the more nonchalant Eastern Lullaby or his rendition of the traditional hymn-inspired Adon Olam, which he transformed completely and made it totally his own, Itamar Borochov shows us how he is not limited by musical genres but incorporates his musical influences with ease, taking the listeners on a musical journey which goes beyond pure jazz.

Eastern Lullaby is a quiet, almost trance-like piece which is a delightful contrast to the vibrant, up-tempo Jones Street, in which he spews forth energy and shows us how much of a persona of his own he has. The tune charges forth with a good dose of intensity, which is reminiscent of any Bebop giant. His playing is edgy and expansive, all the while remaining eloquent throughout. Once again, the piano solo is outstanding, liberating.

Whether it is in the more introspect Avri’s Tune, or the swinging Ca va bien with its hint of Oriental music, Itamar Borochov alternates tempos with an unfussy virtuosity.

Itamar Borochov serves it in abundance in the titillating Jaffa Tune, in which he delivers the mysterious, exciting, almost seedy, vibe of the old city. On this track, Itamar Borochov leads the melody like a walk in his hometown, almost glorifying it. His performance is intoxicating and he weaves a pattern of textures and moods which truly show his musical ingenuity. The piano demands notice too; it is infectious, growing up in a surge of excitement before being joined in again by Itamar Borochov’s formidable trumpet.

Wanderer Song is a seductive, story-telling track of translucent beauty which captures all the senses. This particular rendition of his is even more grandiose than his previous, more mellow ones. The drums pull the tune forward into a fiery crescendo, allowing Borochov to return gloriously with pure flowing lines and scorching notes.

The album wraps with Prayer, a contemplative tune enhanced by Michael King’s soulful piano, which adds a romantic layer to the track. Borochov’s sensuous playing only offers the listeners another facet to his undeniable charisma and magnetic pull.

Boomerang is a multi-layered album dominated by vibrancy. It is full of sensuality and bounce, and Itamar Borochov’s playing is full of warmth and lyricism. His music is reflective, assertive and exploratory all at the same time. With Boomerang, he is sure to shake the jazz world and validate his rightful place in the spotlight.

Nathalie Freson