The November secondofjazz profile is the New York based, Israeli bass and guitar player, Yonatan Levy.
I had the pleasure of hearing Yonatan play live in New York. He was a keeper of structure, and a driving force of the groove at Mark Whitfield’s gig at the Django. He is calm and collected on the stage, a real cool cat!
Yonatan’s music is influenced by many different styles and genres. Throughout the years, he has been listening to David Bowie, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Radiohead, Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and many more. But there has always also been a love for jazz. Growing up, he would listen to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue on repeat. Furthermore, Herbie Hancock’s Man child, Keith Jarrett’s Köln concert, and Kenny Garrett’s Songbook have claimed their fair share of audible space in his life. Avishai Cohen and Gilad Hekselman are also big influences.
In 2014 Yonatan started working on his debut album, Yonatan, featuring Shai Maestro and Jordan Perlson. The album consists exclusively of his own original compositions.
Even though there are no vocals on this album, Yonatan has tried to produce the record from a singer songwriter point of view. This is an album with lots of beautiful tracks. It containes a good mix of different melodies, some melancholic, some a little more experimental, and some with strong references to folk music. Furthermore, the musicians are all provided with enough room to express their own individual sounds.
I particularly enjoyed these tracks; For Sam, It’s my Song and Song in D.
Yonatan’s album came out in Japan in April 2016. The album will be released in Europe in January 2017. Hopefully he’ll be touring in Europe after the release. In that case, I hope he’ll swing by the Nordic jazz stage.
Listen to their music here, link. You can also learn more about his music and career on his website.
Have a good secondofjazz!