Blog post

21 May 2018
Chuck Israels

Relaxin’ with Chuck

Last updated on June 02, 2019

Playing with Chuck Israels was a wonderful and inspiring experience. I was fortunate to perform several times with the legendary jazz bassist, arranger, and composer during his tours in Israel in 2009-2010.

We played several concerts and I helped him organizing and participating in three workshops that he did in music schools in Israel.

We did a tour around the country with concerts at clubs and workshops at music schools. It was a great experience.


Alec Katz, Chuck Israels and Yonatan Rosen

Alec Katz, Chuck Israels, and Yonatan Rosen


At the end of the tour, there was that memorable trio gig at the club called Milestone, an hour drive north of Tel Aviv. We had a nice set of tunes and the playing was spontaneous, adventurous really swinging and relaxed. Yonatan Rosen played drums and all three of us had much fun. There was a great vibe and the audience was warm and supportive.


Relaxin’ At Camarillo

One of the tunes we had played that evening was Relaxin’ At Camarillo by Charlie Parker. I really love this tune and remember listening to a great Tommy Flanagan album Overseas with Elvin Jones and Wilbur Ware. Relaxin’ is on that record and it is a Flanagan masterpiece. He has had recorded it several times and I think some piano players inspired by his version too (Cyrus Chestnut comes to my mind).


A few years later I received an email from Chuck Israels which had a real thrill for me… He sent me a recording of his arrangement of Relaxin’ At Camarillo based on the solo I played at that gig with him. Chuck did a transcription of the solo I played and orchestrated for his Octet (The Chuck Israels Orchestra). They have rehearsed and recorded it. 

The whole composition sounds really beautiful and fresh. Chuck is a true master of orchestral writing and a great leader. The use of individual instruments, the variety of sounds, subtle dynamics has an amazing effect on the whole. It is just another great example of Chuck’s writing. The band sounds amazing.


Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra – Relaxin’ At Camarillo, recorded on from February 2014:

… and here is the original trio recording with Chuck from Milestone Club in Shuni, Binyamina (Israel) recorded in October 2009

Chuck Israels-Alec Katz-Yonatan Rosen Trio – Relaxin’ At Camarillo:


You can listen to more music from the recording of  The Trio with Chuck Israels and Yonatan Rosen at Milestone Shuni (Binyamina, Israel) here


Visit Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra at

Thank you, Chuck! 


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Dan Bass
Dan Bass

Very interesting story. Great playing, you solo is swinging adventurous 🙂 . Chuck Israels arrangement is fantastic, and the band sounds great.

I am a longtime Chuck Israels fun, has been listening to his recording from the ‘60 with Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock My Point oF View, Stan Getz. Thanks to your post did some research and discovered his orchestral works from the 70’. The National Jazz Ensemble. Superb!

Keep posting,



I agree with Dan,thank you for sharing

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