Relaxin’ with Chuck

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.

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).

Relaxin' at Camarillo Piano Intro

Here is the original trio recording of Relaxin’ at Camarillo with Chuck Israels on bass and Yonatan Rosen on Drums recorded  live at Milestone Club in Shuni, Binyamina (Israel) on October 2009.

Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra

A few years later I received an email from Chuck Israels which had a real thrill for me… You would not believe it, he sent sent me a recording of Relaxin’ At Camarillo he did with his band, The Chuck Israels Orchestra. I was really surprised and flattered. Chuck Israels made an arrangement which was based on my solo on the tune from the performance we did at the Milestone Club. Chuck has transcribed the solo I played and orchestrated it for his Octet. They have rehearsed and recorded it in February 2014. It sounded

The whole composition sounds really beautiful fresh and swinging. 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.

Here is the recording of  Relaxin’ At Camarillo by Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra arranged by Chuck Israel and recorded on from February 2014:

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

Visit Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra at  https://chuckisraelsjazz.com

An update: May 06 2020 Marc Myers in his famous JazzWax magazine/blog wrote an article on my collaboration with Chuck Israels in 2009-10. Read it here

Thank you, Chuck! 

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Alec is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator from Tel Aviv, IL. He loves performing, writing, teaching and learning music. Alec has built his website on Wordpress two years ago, he likes writing and sharing ideas and useful stuff.

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Dan Bass
Dan Bass
May 22, 2018 00:48

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… Read more »

October 2, 2018 01:33
Reply to  Dan Bass

I agree with Dan,thank you for sharing

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