By Kerilie McDowall | Published September 2018
Israel-born flutist and composer Hadar Noiberg’s expressive finesse moves through sharply defined, well-crafted and flowing compositions on her trio’s Open Fields. Since 2010, the 35-year-old bandleader has regularly been touring, and for more than a year, the personnel of her troupe has included bassist/guitarist Eduardo Belo and drummer Amir Bar-Akiva.
Open Fields features nine original compositions and the haunting Israeli folk song “Na’ama,” showcasing lush accompaniment from New York-based pianist Chano Dominguez backing Noiberg’s soulful flute. The album’s introductory “I See The Light” highlights the bandleader’s fluidity, serving up flavors from Israel, the Middle East and the jazz and classical worlds. The trio uses space patiently, intently listening as a solid collective. Dominguez again joins Noiberg for a passionate performance on “Nova Scotia,” a celebration of Canada’s Maritimes region.
A stunning moment is the title track’s matching up of Noiberg with Belo’s ethereal guitar and Bar-Akiva’s subtle, sensitive brushwork. But the flutist makes strong statements across the entire album, and her improvisations shine with a confident approach and merging of genres.
Inspired by the music of Brazil, Noiberg creates an Israeli choro within her own lyrical composition, “Triste.” It’s a perfect union of Noiberg’s spirited flute in duo with Belo’s flawless guitar accompaniment. The closing “Time To Let Go” links up the trio’s powerful rhythmic force with an enjoyably sunny take on the simplicity of the moment. It’s a melodious departure from a captivating, uplifting listen.