Omer Klein & The Israeli Songbook


Order from Chaos – The Israeli Songbook,” will close the Israeli Opera’s Jazz Series with a creative and moving  program on June 1, 2012, performed by an international quintet of jazz musicians who have come together for this production: Omer Klein – piano; Marty Ehrlich – saxophones, clarinet, flute; Ralph Alessi – trumpet; Drew Gress – bass; and Roberto Dani – drums. Artistic director of the Jazz Series is Nitzan Kremer.

Omer Klein/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

The Israeli Songbook, with songs composed by Matti Caspi, Yehudit Ravitz, Yoni Rechter and other Israeli songwriters, provides the inspiration for much of this evening, with jazz arrangements specially created by Omer Klein for this production. Jazz pianist and composer Omer Klein shared his thoughts on his creative process and choices in correspondence with Midnight East:

My creative process while preparing for this concert was a revelatory one. I was given two factors: the identity of the musicians, and the fact that I need to choose the songs from the vast treasure of Israeli songs.

Taking the musicians into consideration was a pretty natural task; I simply listened to their playing, and gradually developed an ear for what they might (hopefully!) enjoy playing, and what might fit their sounds and attitudes.

The second task, of finding my way in the huge maze of Israeli songs, and choosing wisely, was another challenge. I ended up dealing with it by understanding that I cannot possibly hope to “represent” Israeli music in one night. All I can do is offer a very personal outlook. I explored my own relationship with the Israeli songs, and eventually came up with choices that can be understood by looking through my personal prism.

For example, Matti Caspi, who is one of my musical heroes, certainly has songs that are better known than the one I chose. But I chose Shir Bedoui (Bedouin Song) because it appeared on my first Matti Caspi CD, bought when I was 13, and that changed my musical conceptions forever. For some reason, back then, this song made an especially strong impression on me; and it is that kind of subjectivity that I’ve decided to go with, in this project.

Another example is a special chord that we will play a couple of times in the concert. It’s a chord that Yoni Rechter, another hero of mine, recently showed me in a dream… this is the kind of personal angle that I was looking for when creating the program, paired of course with an ear attuned towards the unique musicianship of Ralph, Marty, Drew and Roberto, with whom I look forward to sharing the stage.

Order From Chaos,” a documentary film by Ana-Isabel Ordonez, is the evening’s other focal point. The film follows a Holocaust survivor on a journey through his past in Europe, Israel and the U.S. Musicians Omer Klein, Marty Ehrlich and Ralph Alessi were asked to create compositions inspired by the film, these pieces will comprise the suite performed by the quintet against a backdrop of select scenes from the film.
“Order from Chaos – The Israeli Songbook”
Friday, June 1, 2012 at 21:30, The Israeli Opera House – TAPAC
19 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, Tel Aviv.  Tickets may be ordered online, or call: 03-6927777.