By Kerilie McDowall | Published June 2019
A sense of emotional intimacy launches Israeli-born pianist Guy Mintus’ second trio recording, Connecting The Dots, as he explores the idea of interconnectedness and links up varied sources of inspiration.
Velvety piano tones cushion the album’s 3/4 opener, “Koan.” Capturing the spirit and lyricism of Israel while embracing his Iraqi, Moroccan and Polish-Jewish heritage through classical, jazz and blues influences, Mintus’ commanding improvisations twist through unexpected turns with an upbeat spark. Powerfully fluid, the trio also handily breezes through Horace Silver’s uptempo “Yeah!”
Highlighting his roots with an adaptation of a prayer, “Avinu Malkenu,” Mintus explores meditative cultural soundscapes, sustaining the piano tremolo with strength alongside Dan Pappalardo’s cosmic droning bass and Philippe Lemm’s shimmering cymbals. Peaking with stratospheric cascades from virtuosic guest soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, the troupe eloquently conjures oneness. Mintus’ shining, charismatic personality is addictive, and his fine trio liberates listeners with its majestic take on freedom conjured through thoughtful connections.
Connecting The Dots: Little Italy; Samarkand; Yeah!; Hunt Music; Dalb; Asfour; Nothing New Under The Sun; Avinu Malkenu; Haperach Begani. (53:25)
Personnel: Guy Mintus, piano, vocals; Dan Pappalardo, bass; Philippe Lemm, drums; Sivan Arbel (5), vocals; Dave Liebman (9), soprano saxophone.