I’ve been a fan of Shai Maestro since his very first solo album, see also this very early blog post of mine: This Avishai Cohen Alumni Will Go Places. I even put his debut album in My 25 Essential Jazz albums.
His most recent album I had more trouble with, most likely I just didn’t get it.
But when I saw he was playing again at Moods in Zurich (exactly 2 years after his first concert there, which I also saw), and I happened to be in town, I knew I had to see him.
And I’m extremely glad I did.
Shai Maestro Trio – Live At Moods Zürich – March 17, 2017
The concert was obviously mainly focused on his latest album, the Stone Skipper.
And as much as I didn’t get it when listening to the album, everything became extremely clear when listening to it live.
Shai Maestro during the concert mentioned that they don’t have a set playlist. They just have a common list of songs, but basically are guided by the mood of the evening.
I guess the mood at Moods must have been good, because we got an amazing performance.
What sets this trio, that includes Jorge Roeder on bass, and Ziv Ravitz on drums, apart, is how much complexity they can blend into something that sounds so effortless.
Most jazz consists of simple 4/4 rythms. Not so here, the rythmic complexities that Ravitz pulls off and that his colleagues are following so easily, are so impressive, that when occasionally he switches to a regular 4/4 beat people start laughing because it sounds so simple in comparison.
Same goes fro the melodic complexities of Maestro. But unlike with some Jazz musicians, complexity is never a self-serving intellectual exercise, but always serves the mood of the piece, and is actually quite accessible even to non Jazz musicians.
Jorge Roeder, as a typical bass player, never puts himself at the forefront, but what an artist he is as well. The synergy between these three outstanding musicians it amazing.
Maestro probably will never play standards (he jokingly said “I won’t play Autumn Leaves”), but this trio really creates their very own world, and a world you don’t want to leave again.
The audience agreed, and got the band to play 3 encores, and probably would have stayed for another 5 if possible.
I’ve been to many concerts in my life, this was one of the most memorable experiences I had.
Sorry for the many superlatives in this review, but I was simply blown away.
My rating: 5 stars