Michael Rabinowitz | Ocean Eyes

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Michael Rabinowitz

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
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Ocean Eyes

by Michael Rabinowitz

While it might not be the first instrument you think of for delivering a distinctive, cutting but expressive jazz voice, the bassoon, joined by vibes, comes out of the confines of the classical orchestra with a surprising elegance.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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1. Flow Chart
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4:50 album only
2. The Frog & The Princess
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9:58 album only
3. Cen
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5:32 album only
4. FMB
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5:26 album only
5. For Meryl
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6:18 album only
6. Sunrise
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4:42 album only
7. Oneirology
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4:13 album only
8. True & False
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3:18 album only
9. Once Upon A Time
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4:50 album only
10. Hurricane Ridge Waltz
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5:58 album only
11. Ocean Eyes
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9:04 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
For over twenty years Michael Rabinowitz has been on the cutting edge as a versatile bassoonist. His broad musical experience makes him as comfortable with Bach and Mozart as he is with Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.

He has recorded with Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Wynton Marsalis, John Hicks, Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano. His festival appearances include Chicago, Montreal, Berlin, Tri-city, San Francisco and Hollywood Bowl. Michael is a regular member of The Charles Mingus Orchestra in NYC and recently toured Europe with this ensemble. The personnel in his quartet Bassoon and the Wild heard on this CD has remained the same for the past 4 years and has performed at the The Vanderbilt Planetarium, Frick Museum, JVC Jazz Festival, Penn State, Kavehaz and other venues in NYC.
Ocean Eyes is Michael's 5th CD and documents the development of his quartet Bassoon in the Wild with mostly original compositions. The Music Group (Schreiber Bassoons) has been Michael's sponsor for the past two years and continues to support his efforts in participation in Bassoon Master Classes; most recently in an appearance at Bassoon Day in Indianapolis combined with a performance at The Jazz Kitchen.





Review from L.A. Jazz Scene June '04


BASSOON IN THE WILD
Ocean Eyes
(self-produced)

The vibraphone, acoustic bass and light drum foundation give this delicate ensemble a distinctive touch that resembles the Modern Jazz Quartet. Here, however, the group's lead voice is a deep, perky instrument that usually remains in the background: the bassoon. Michael Rabinowitz places this unique instrument, one usually found only in an orchestra context, into a modern jazz setting, quick and fluid, he marries bassoon melodies with the vibraphone's distinctive harmonic timbres for a mellow outing. The quartet swings too.
Vibraphonist Diana Herold, bassist Joe Fonda and Drummer Grisha Alexiev support Rabinowitz with a natural approach. "FMB" in particular , places the quartet in a charged straight- ahead alliance with swing. The leader's bassoon punctuates with machine-gun like intensity. Elsewhere, as his ballad "For Meryl," Rabinowitz shines with a vocal-like presence. "Ocean Eyes" moves with a lilting, bolero rhythm through exotic worlds. The bassoon just can't help being exotic. The leader's composition, however, takes the listener, suite-like, on tour of various places.
Rabinowitz, 48, has worked in New York with avant- garde ensembles and with several larger mainstream jazz orchestras. With his quartet, he's tuned into straight- ahead jazz. The bassoon is , by nature, mellow and smooth. In Michael Rabinowitz's hands, however, the instrument serves up improvised adventures with interest.


- Jim Santella


Reviews


to write a review

Dennis Wieand

Ever hear a basson through a Mutron?
One night I was looking to hear some live jazz, and found something odd listed, bassoon jazz! I went up and checked them out, and it was so different it took a few songs to register the sound of the band in my mind. Once I was used to hearing the combination of instruments I started noticing that all the players there (basically the same ones as on the CD) were not only really good at their instruments but also really different players. The thing that really struck me was Michael's phrasing. He plays nothing like a sax player, it's very melodic at times, comical at times, and what was most surprising was it was very percussive most of the time. This guy really knows melody and harmony, but he really really knows rythmn. When I found out he had CD"s I knew if I didn't get them I'd be up all night trying to learn his "style". Luckily for me he had two CD's. and Ocean eyes was one of them. This is a must have CD for anyone interested in exploring some of the more uncharted areas of Jazz. There's everything from very subtle use of a mutron 3 on the bassoon (subtle enough to not offend the anti electric crowd) to some harmonic ideas that'll blow you away. It's been at the top of my listening pile for a while now, and I don't see it leaving that spot for a while.

CD Baby


While it might not be the first instrument you think of for delivering a distinctive, cutting, but expressive jazz voice, the bassoon, joined by vibes, comes out of the confines of the classical, orchestral setting with a surprising elegance and exciting fresh texture. Once you hear it, it's strikingly natural- with the potential for buoyancy and punch, sass and back-talk, the voice of this lickety-split bassoon-vibraphone dialogue (matched by marimba as well as an impressive backing combo) makes for an album that is both eye-opening and easy to sink into. Brilliant.

Alex Coke

We liked it so much we bought a 2nd copy.
I was looking for a basson cd for a friend. Something different and suprising.
Based on the sound samples and reviews, I thought I'd check this out. I listened to it one morning, driving my 13 year old son to school. We fell in love with it and I came back to order a 2nd one for my friend. My son particularly likes the take of "Softly".
I like the tempo changes and overall feel.

VENITA

TWO WORDS: AMAZINGLY AWESOME
Jazz reaches a whole new level - forget everything you know about jazz or jazz instruments; this CD clearly dispels such notions. The tracks offer a full range of jazz enjoyment - from smooth & mellow to gritty & funky. The instrument is phenomonal & Michael Rabinowitz is a true music genius. The bassoon has left the ranks of "band geek instrument" and evolved into a first-class jazz instrument!

Tamara Turner, CD Baby


While it might not be the first instrument you think of for delivering a distinctive, cutting, but expressive jazz voice, the bassoon, joined by vibes, comes out of the confines of the classical, orchestral setting with a surprising elegance and exciting fresh texture. Once you hear it, it's strikingly natural- with the potential for buoyancy and punch, sass and back-talk, the voice of this lickety-split bassoon-vibraphone dialogue (matched by marimba as well as an impressive backing combo) makes for an album that is both eye-opening and easy to sink into. Brilliant.