Israeli-born trumpeter Itamar Borochov is a gifted improvisor known for his expansive style of jazz that brings together his love of Sephardic Jewish music, Arabic maqam, and modal post-bop. Following a move to New York in 2007, Borochov gained wider recognition with his 2014 quartet album Outset and 2016 follow-up Boomerang. Born in Jaffa, Israel, Borochov grew up in a creative family the son of noted musician Yisrael Borochov and the brother of bassist Avri Borochov. Growing up, he was exposed to a range of sounds from Sephardic music in his synagogue to Middle Eastern and North African maqams, as well as Mizrahi, Ashkenazi, and other Israeli traditions. He first began playing the trumpet around age 11 and quickly developed a love of jazz. Borochov studied the music throughout his high school years, imbibing the recordings of artists like Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Wynton Marsalis, and others. In 2007, he moved to New York City to study at the New School, where he took classes with pianist Barry Harris and participated in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program. It was while at college that he began developing his stylistically bridged approach to jazz, mixing modal post-bop with the ethnic traditions he grew up with. Along with his straight-ahead jazz gigs, he also found work with like-minded artists including guitarist Nadav Remez and bassist Omer Avital. As a leader, Borochov debuted in 2014 with Outset, a quartet album with saxophonist Hagai Amir, his brother Avri on bass, and drummer Aviv Cohen. Boomerang followed in 2016 and again featured his brother, as well as pianist Michael King and drummer Jay Sawyer. The atmospheric Blue Nights arrived in 2019 and included a guest appearance by the Moroccan collective Innov Gnawa.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released September 21, 2018 | Laborie Jazz
Israeli-born trumpeter Itamar Borochov plays a cross-pollinated style of jazz that brings together his love of Sephardic Jewish music, Arabic maquam, and richly textured modal post-bop. It's a sound that informed 2014's Outset and 2016's Boomerang, and one he further develops on 2019's atmospherically engaging Blue Nights. As a trumpeter, Borochov has a soft, warm sound that brings to mind the sultry, late-night style of artists like Miles Davis and Chet Baker. In fact, the opening track "Right Now" is just the kind of slow-burn anthem Baker might have recorded in the 1980s. It's a style that grounds much of Blue Nights, as Borochov builds upon this lyricism with songs that grow increasingly kinetic as he weaves in yet more of his Middle-Eastern and African influences. Part of what makes Borochov's multi-dimensional sound so appealing is that he is as much in command of the jazz tradition as he is any of the other ethnic traditions he explores here. The cinematic title track starts with Borochov playing a lilting, sensual theme that builds to a heart-wrenching pitch of skyward trumpet moans. Equally compelling, "Motherlands" has a sparkling piano groove that Borochov accents with the addition of vocals by the Moroccan collective Innov Gnawa. He also evokes the dramatic, minor-key tension of Love Supreme-era John Coltrane on the driving "Daasa!," whose title is a reference to the song's wavelike 7/4 Yemenite dance rhythm. Similarly, "Broken Vessels" combines Coltrane's spiritual jazz with a fusion-rock dynamism, as Borochov's trumpet brushes warmly against sweeping drums and far-eyed piano chords. Elsewhere, as on the buoyant "Garden Dog Sleeps," his fluid lines bring to mind Wynton Marsalis' early-'80s albums. Ultimately, with Blue Nights, Borochov has crafted a perfect balance between dusky jazz you want to cocoon yourself in, and polyrhythmic percussion grooves that pull you toward the horizon. © Matt Collar /TiVo