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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

Third World Love

By Tom Jackson
Published April 27, 2007

Sketch Of Tel Aviv
Smalls

Fresh from entertaining football stadiums (albeit at half-time) in their native Israel, jazz quartet Third World Love are on a mission to bring melodic jazz to the masses. Back home, they already have a fan-base well beyond the usual modest jazz proportions, and wield an effective PR machine. This is all rather surprising, as they basically trade in sophisticated instrumental jazz based around Avishai Cohen’s trumpet and Yonatan Avishai’s piano and keyboards. The connection with the crowd must surely flow from the insistent grooves that they establish, particularly on the piano, reminiscent of euphoric, gospelized keyboard breaks in the best house tunes. The group dabbles in Cuban rhythms, tango and there are Middle Eastern touches, especially on “Horizon,” where Eviatar Banai guests on vocals. If it’s not the most adventurous jazz album, this is nonetheless the real thing, and the trumpet hook on “Suite Africain #2” is to be treasured.