Shai Maestro (IL)
Since leaving bassist Avishai Cohen’s group in 2011 to pursue his own career as a band leader, Shai Maestro has released 4 albums. 2018 marks an important year for Shai, signing with major jazz label ECM to record his fifth album “The Dream Thief”, featuring Ofri Nehemya on drums and Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder, but also Shai himself as a solo pianist. A solo interpretation of Matti Caspi’s “My Second Childhood” opens the curtain on a programme of characteristically thoughtful Maestro originals, each one with a story to tell.
“Hearing the Shai Maestro Trio is like awakening to a new world”, All About Jazz has suggested. “Expressions of joy, introspective thoughts and heightened intensity all come to the fore.” Maestro’s differentiated touch is special; he can convey a range of fleeting emotions in a single phrase. A deconstruction of “These Foolish Things”, the album’s sole standard, serves as a prelude to “What Else Needs To Happen”, a sombre meditation on inner city violence and its aftermath.
The Dream Thief was recorded at Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in April 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher, and issued on the eve of a European tour with concerts in Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, France, and Switzerland.