Eran Har Even Shorter Days (World Citizen Music Records 2024)


Shorter circuit? On the contrary.



Eran Har Even (guitar), Omer Govreen (bass), Wouter Kühne (drums)


in February 2023 at Roode Bioscoop


as World Citizen Music Records in 2024

Track listing

El Toro
The Big Push
One By One
Dance Cadaverous
Night Dreamer

It’s not exactly armageddon that is conjured up by guitarist Eran Har Even on his tribute to Wayne Shorter, the greatest composer of the post-bop era. No mistaking, dark and ominous clouds are rolling. Brown leaves are dancing on the cobblestones like gypsies wandering over the moorland. Occasionally, the world is upside down, its blue and green resembling the colors of the head of someone who has been hanging out of the saddle of his horse on his way to the illusion of Eldorado. There’s tenderness and melancholy, a tear of sorrow, a tear of joy. This is how it should be on a record of Wayne Shorter compositions.

There is no piano to back up Even, an Amsterdam-based, Israeli axe man who played with Benny Golson, Gilad Hekselman, Jasper Blom, Logan Richardson and is a prolific partaker in the Dutch scene. His broad sound scape makes up for this suavely and he’s filling the canvas with nifty combinations of single runs and off-kilter harmonies. The tight-knit and flexible duo of Omer Govreen on bass and Wouter Kühne on drums brings out the best in Even.

There is a mixture of deceptive simplicity and challenging movements in Shorter’s compositions that is most appealing to jazz musicians, not least listeners. Obviously, Eran Har Even thoroughly comprehends the Shorter Book and re-created it to make an appealing piece of his own, whether it’s the stormy version of Lost or the lesser-known Capricorn, which swings freely and bites its own tail like a snake. Interestingly, the Juju album or anthemic Footprints is absent. He did pick the classic Nefertiti from the Miles Davis period and Night Dreamer, a great album climax that mixes nocturnal New York shadows with the whirling winds of the desert.

Eran Har Even

Find Shorter Days here.

Govreen/Sever Quartet Maya (JMI 2022)


Israelian/Slovenian/Dutch progressive jazz collective congregates in Amsterdam. Their promising debut album Maya oozes the proverbial metropolitan swagger.

Govreen:Sever Quartet - Maya


Aleksander Sever (vibraphone), Floris Kappeyne (piano), Omer Govreen (bass), Wouter Kühne (drums)


on June 4 & 5, 2021 at Lullabye Factory, Amsterdam


as JMI 008 in 2022

Track listing

God’s World

Some musicians eschew composing and are satisfied with playing standards at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, some colleagues arguably try too hard at writing originals because it appears to be a prerequisite for the modern jazz artist. This is only a matter of outside pressure. Of course, it’s only the inherent drive that counts. Amsterdam-based bassist Omer Govreen and vibraphonist Aleksander Sever convincingly go their own way. They have written a fresh and suspenseful progressive jazz set channeling a spirit, as they state, ‘of supernatural powers and magic’.

Govreen/Sever Quartet also features pianist Floris Kappeyne and drummer Wouter Kühne. Their seldom-heard vibes and piano combination is most welcome, neatly linking classical undercurrents to a spontaneous flood of moods. Maya positively leans towards the melancholic pieces of unsung hero Walt Dickerson. Bits of the daring interaction of Bobby Hutcherson and Andrew Hill shine through, if you will. Like the music of those adventurers of lore, Maya’s dynamic sound is the consequence of an analogue recording process. Analogue, y’all. Amen.

So much for comparisons. The band’s got a rugged, serene and mysterious beauty all her own. Heal is a beautiful melody with the tenderness of a lullaby. It reminds me of sweet and sour songs like Gene Lees’s Grandfather’s Waltz, which is high recommendation. Whoever assumes that he will fall asleep is mistaken. Slowly but surely, the tension is heightened near the end.

As far as energy and tension is concerned, Inwoods is nonpareil. Kappeyne paints with his piano notes, mixing moody pastels with Marslit reds and pineapple yellows and coming up with a sparkling canvas. Sever’s spirited vibraphone playing brings the song to boiling point, underlined by recalcitrant drums rolls. Comforting in the solid beat of Govreen, Kühne goes way out, freely counterattacking Inwood’s gritty rhythmic flow. I’m really impressed by Kühne’s current playing style (and sound!) and read somewhere that he has spend time in NYC. Did he perhaps enjoy an afternoon or two with Ari Hoenig?

The lovely slow piece Tired, surprisingly underscored by drum march figures, is another highlight of a record that features approximately 30 seconds of straight swing, just so you know what Maya, a mature album full of intriguing songs from a bunch of high-level cats, is about.

Find Maya here.