Omer Avital
The Omer Avital Marlon Browden Project
The Omer Avital Marlon Browden Project

Omer Avital (b)
Marlon Browden (d)
Avishai Cohen (tp)
Omri Mor (Fender Rhodes)
Omer Avital/Marlon Browden

By MICHAEL PRONKO / The Japan Times

Both bassist Omer Avital and drummer Marlon Browden are regulars at the New York club Small’s, a hive of jazz creativity for young musicians. But on this album, the two travel to Avital’s native Israel for a live recording of their funky, electric “project.”

The quartet is rounded out by Avishai Cohen on a sound effects-laden trumpet and Omri Mor on a Fender Rhodes piano. In its taut grooves, the music is quite simple, but the unhurried, heartfelt jamming also makes these eight workouts fun of a sophisticated kind. They know their R&B as well as their jazz, and weave modal scales together with funky riffs while shifting seamlessly between high energy and laid-back minimalism. Recorded live in Jerusalem in one night, the album gives “The Wailing Wall” new meaning altogether.