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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 2, 2012 | Laborie Jazz

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions TSF - Choc de Classica - Elu par Citizen Jazz - Découverte JAZZ NEWS - Qobuzissime - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - L'album du mois JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Following four albums that have helped established him on the contemporary jazz scene, Shai Maestro is taking a major step by combining with the ECM label. Still in a trio with his double bass accomplice Jorge Roeder and drummer Ofri Nehemya (who replaces regular Ziv Ravitz), the Israeli pianist is once again going down the path of sublime multi-layered narratives. The melodies are taken from jazz as well as Eastern traditional music, and even Western classical music. Whether he feels introspective (on Israeli Matti Caspi’s My Second Childhood) or overtly provocative (surprising interpretation of the classic These Foolish Things), he has kept his soft touch and refined musical language. Ever since 2012, when he released the first album with him as the frontman, his profoundly personal aesthetic has continued to impress. He possesses a strong narrative force and stays well wired into the times, like on the final composition What Else Needs To Happen?, in which Shai Maestro very subtly inserts the voice of Barack Obama giving a speech about gun control. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 2, 2013 | Laborie Jazz

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection FIP - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 11, 2016 | Sound Surveyor Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released January 29, 2021 | ECM

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In 2018, Shai Maestro marked a milestone by joining the ECM team. After four albums animated by a certain grace that stamped his name on the contemporary jazz scene, the Israeli pianist, with excellent rhythmic accompaniment (the Peruvian Jorge Roeder on double bass and the Israeli Ofri Nehemya on drums) embarked once again on the path of vibrant stories-within-stories. Melodies inherited from the jazz repertoire but also from traditional oriental music or even Western classical music. Sources of inspiration like this great narrative tailwind are again summoned on Human, which was written with the same trio plus Philip Dizack, who brings a real personal touch. While taking care to digest the values of the trio, the American trumpeter brings this music closer to a certain classicism. It's a heritage that the Maestro has always kept in his sights and that he celebrates here with Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood, the only cover on the album, or on Hank and Charlie, a tribute to Hank Jones and Charlie Haden. But it is the virtuosity – which is never ostentatious – of these four that impresses throughout Human. An impressive technique (GG) is put to work on the melody of the delicate (Compassion) and poetic (The Thief's Dream) themes on this record: themes all composed by the Maestro himself. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | ECM

Booklet
Having cut his teeth with bassist Avishai Cohen, Israeli pianist Shai Maestro has forged a small but perfectly formed discography of his own. Now, with the prodigious young Ofri Nehemya replacing Ziv Ravitz on drums, his trio makes its ECM debut. The album features a range of styles, from lilting solo pieces to full-on wig-outs. The solo "My Second Childhood" opens the album with a Middle Eastern motif, its fluttering phrases bringing a melancholy tone; the later "Choral" has a light, pleasing melody with an unplaceable "world music" feel. Maestro's independence is truly remarkable; it really sounds at times as if there are two people at the piano, as he plays in different meters with each hand. "The Forgotten Village" is restrained, super-smooth, almost lounge, with the three playing off each other expertly; Nehemya brings an offbeat rhythm with subtle rimshot clicks as Roeder lays down an amazingly rubbery bass solo. "A Moon's Tale" has an appropriately nocturnal quality, as silvery fingers of Debussy-esque solo piano swell into a middle section of almost gothic horror. The lilting "Lifeline" has one of the album's most beautiful melodies, lush, romantic, and faintly bittersweet, with wonderfully satisfying harmonic resolutions. The funky, syncopated "New River, New Water" seems largely freely improvised; there's a real telepathic interplay between the players, the energy palpable as the music rises to a frantic crescendo, with their excited shouts captured on the mike. The standout title track is the major showcase of the trio's chops -- starting out louche and filmic, it shifts gear about a third of the way through and lifts off with brisk, swinging cymbals and a rolling, roiling piano part before the trio bursts into life, Nehemya all over his kit, Roeder mirroring the piano as Maestro unleashes a torrent of notes. "What Else Needs to Happen" closes the album on a somber note, becoming darker and more atonal as it progresses, with the piano and the bass both seeming to go out of tune. It features an overdubbed speech by Barack Obama calling for gun control, which is an important message but seems jarring and out of place, and takes the listener out of the music. But that's the only misstep here. Maestro's pianism is remarkable, deftly and concisely expressing deep reserves of emotion with an impressive lightness of touch; it's never too far out, always melodic enough to be accessible but never staid or predictable. As ever, the whole is lovingly produced by Manfred Eicher in his trademark bright and open way, every note clear and crisp, the tone perfectly balanced. This is an impressive addition to Maestro's oeuvre and, one hopes, the beginning of a fruitful relationship with ECM. © John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 29, 2021 | ECM

Booklet
In 2018, Shai Maestro marked a milestone by joining the ECM team. After four albums animated by a certain grace that stamped his name on the contemporary jazz scene, the Israeli pianist, with excellent rhythmic accompaniment (the Peruvian Jorge Roeder on double bass and the Israeli Ofri Nehemya on drums) embarked once again on the path of vibrant stories-within-stories. Melodies inherited from the jazz repertoire but also from traditional oriental music or even Western classical music. Sources of inspiration like this great narrative tailwind are again summoned on Human, which was written with the same trio plus Philip Dizack, who brings a real personal touch. While taking care to digest the values of the trio, the American trumpeter brings this music closer to a certain classicism. It's a heritage that the Maestro has always kept in his sights and that he celebrates here with Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood, the only cover on the album, or on Hank and Charlie, a tribute to Hank Jones and Charlie Haden. But it is the virtuosity – which is never ostentatious – of these four that impresses throughout Human. An impressive technique (GG) is put to work on the melody of the delicate (Compassion) and poetic (The Thief's Dream) themes on this record: themes all composed by the Maestro himself. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released July 24, 2015 | Motema Music, LLC

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Jazz - Released August 24, 2018 | ECM

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Jazz - Released September 14, 2018 | ECM

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Shai Maestro Trio in the magazine