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Omer Klein | “Life & Fire”

Pianist Omer Klein’s Life & Fire

Marks His Trio’s Tenth Anniversary 

Featuring Bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo

and Drummer Amir Bresler

Available Tomorrow via Warner Music

Pianist Omer Klein works in a modern-jazz mode, brisk and borderless, and yet his music vibrates with cultural specificity, projecting a sense of place.

 The New York Times

“Klein has the potential to achieve something much rarer for a jazz musician: popularity. What he plays is exotic yet accessible and makes you feel

fully alive.” — JazzTimes

Omer Klein Trio – Niggun

Stream Tracks from Life & Fire

Music is a wordless language with a correspondingly rich array of possible interpretations. As a composer, improviser and pianist, Israeli-born Omer Klein (who now lives in Frankfurt) has an excellent command of this language, finding a vocabulary for each new album that can open doors and build bridges without the need for a dictionary.

The album Life & Fire marks an anniversary – Klein and his trio partners bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Amir Bresler have been together for ten years. Over this period they have produced four albums and shared their common musical experience with audiences worldwide. To avoid straying onto well-trodden paths in marking the occasion, Klein laid down some clear principles for the new album. One: it should be fun. Two: friends should be involved, because it’s a birthday party. Three: part of celebrating an anniversary is finding fresh ways of honouring the past and carrying it into the future. These three coordinates gave Omer Klein a general direction for the disc. “I decided to go for a small studio, where we would all record together in the same space, without headphones. Half the material would be pieces we’d played countless times and can now present in a fresh way. And let’s invite friends and have them sitting round us.”

It was other factors that triggered the irresistible vitality of the album. It is, in the truest sense of the term, a family album, because over the past ten years Klein, Cohen-Milo and Bresler have become more than just friends. Unlike when he started his career, Klein is now a father of three. The children’s influence on his music cannot be overestimated. They’re always teaching him something about freedom, spontaneity, independence and – something that’s by no means unimportant in music – playfulness. “Children don’t think in set categories, and they don’t worry about the consequences of taking risks.” In Life & Fire, Klein plays with notes like building bricks. He loves building towers, immediately knocking them down again and building new towers with the same building blocks. “In the past few years I’ve learned how to achieve more control over these processes while at the same time letting go. That’s precisely what improvising means for me. It’s as though I’m writing a novel and changing the plot in real time while I’m writing.”

Memory and the future sit cheek by jowl on the album. Klein’s music is full of optimism, it positively stirs up the present for the sake of the future, and yet he’s also got his tune “Niggun,” a nod to Jewish folk music, in the program. “My personality unites the two. Nowadays we cherish a certain notion of a time –imaginary or real – when we believe people were able to identify more with one single thing. If you were from a small village, then your world only stretched that far and it determined your culture. Nowadays we’re bombarded with so much input that in art we sometimes lean towards reproducing that kind of authenticity. But at a certain point in my life I realized that my life is actually eclectic. I was born in Israel, which has always been a melting pot for people from all over the world, right from its inception. My parents’ parents came from Eastern Europe and North Africa. As a teenager I got into music from the USA and Brazil and the great European classical composers.” Countless elements have been added to Klein’s sense of himself as an artist since. It cost him time and effort to realize that he really simply doesn’t have just one identity and that he’s the product of a whole range of different influences and experiences. But the way this multifaceted mosaic is realized in Life & Fire is profoundly holistic. It offers a single, powerful message of the unity that lies behind diversity.

Life & Fire is a window on the present for the sake of perpetuity. This spectacular explosion of life carries all of the past two years’ events, experiences and ideas without demanding explanations or trying to preach to the listener. The title speaks for itself – a passionate celebration of life in all its fullness.

1. The Ravens

2. Song #2

3. 3/4 Mantra

4. Tzuri

5. Cantando

6. One Step at a Time

7. Niggun

8. Spilt Milk

9. Malchut

Produced and all music composed by Omer Klein

Omer Klein, piano

Haggai Cohen-Milo, bass

Amir Bresler, drums

Recorded in Berlin in August 2022

Photo by Yvonne Schmedemann

Omer Klein · Life & Fire

Warner Music · Release Date: March 3, 2023

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