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 the concerts at clubs and workshops at music schools. It was a great experience.
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 an 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:
Visit Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra at https://chuckisraelsjazz.com
Thank you, Chuck!