Saxophonist Lenny Sendersky was born in St. Petersburg, and now lives in Israel. His album synthesises Middle Eastern folk and klezmer with modern jazz – one meaning of “Mizrahi” in Hebrew is “Eastern”; another is “Jewish peoples living in the Middle East and North Africa”. The line-up features a small string ensemble, Moon Strings – Artur Adamyan and Andrei Rukhadze (violin), Shamil Saidov (viola), Nikolai Solonovich (cello) and Dmitri Semenichev (bass).
There are three very attractively-arranged standards. In A Sentimental Mood has a delightful string arrangement, and the version of Take Five has suggestions of klezmer and Israeli folk music. On the title-track, the leader makes his soprano saxophone sound like a shenai or related instrument. It’s a jive misterioso – as one writer comments, like a mutated Night in Tunisia, the work of an Indian snake-charmer – and a powerfully impressive performance. Vocals on this track are by the leader, and Oshy Daban.
The string arrangements are effective – not quite as powerful as the best soul-string sections, but above par for jazz. The sense of place that the music creates is rather generic, but the results are attractive nonetheless.
Sea Of Galilee; Take Five; Walking In St. Petersburg; Intro; Blues Mizrahi; In A Sentimental Mood; Yello; Sophie; Blues In Palace; Asia Dream; I Got Rhythm (48.07)
Sendersky (as, ss, f); Ehud Ettun, Dmitri Semenishev (b); Arkady Shilkloper (frh); Oshy Daban (v); Artur Adamyan, Andrei Rukhadze (vn); Shamil Saidov (vla); Nikolai Solonovich (clo). Moscow, 23-24 April 2019.
Losen LOS 238-2 CD