Here Be Dragons
On Here Be Dragons, Oded Tzur’s third release and first for the historic ECM label, the Israeli-born tenor saxophonist continues with a quartet concept he’s favored for years, a sound most conducive to ECM’s spacious, resonant audiophile aesthetic. Bassist Petros Klampanis remains on board from the previous records; he’s joined by the marvelous pianist Nitai Hershkovits, with his sparkling tone and complex ideas, and drummer Johnathan Blake, a prominent Philadelphian whose bracing chops are tempered here by fine textural instincts and restraint. Tzur’s music, inspired in part by his study of Indian ragas, is rich in lyricism and detail, with a prevailing mystical mood. His tenor sax reveals itself gradually, like a far-off whisper at first, then a strong but serene presence.