In 2009 I invited the great bassist, composer and arranger Chuck Israels for a series of concerts and masterclasses in Israel.
Playing with Chuck Israels was a wonderful and inspiring experience. It was a first-time encounter with the great bassist and despite the differences in our backgrounds, life and cultural backgrounds, the musical connection was almost instant and we quickly became friends.
We did a tour around the country with concerts at clubs and workshops at music schools. It was a memorable experience.
At the end of the tour, we played a trio gig at the club called Milestone, an hour drive north of Tel Aviv. We played a nice set of standards 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 very 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).
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:
Chuck Israels, Alec Katz & Yonatan Rosen – Live at the Milestone (album)
Visit Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra at https://chuckisraelsjazz.com