Personal Belongings Omer Klein

Album info

Album-Release:
2021

HRA-Release:
17.09.2021

Label: WM Germany

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Contemporary Jazz

Artist: Omer Klein

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Kavana02:13
  • 2Baghdad Blues05:00
  • 3The Magnets05:30
  • 4The Flower and the Seed05:14
  • 5Good Hands05:43
  • 6Sun Girl04:38
  • 7Quarantined with You04:12
  • 8Shake It06:47
  • 9Najara04:14
  • 10What a Wonderful World02:45
  • Total Runtime46:16

Info for Personal Belongings



On this, his latest and most personal album to date, Omer Klein – “one of a small group of master pianists” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) – presents us with an insightful commentary on the world today. Originating during the 2020 pandemic, the ten pieces reflect Klein’s personal position as a human being, pianist, composer, bandleader, father, and artist between cultures.

For Klein, like everyone else, the first Covid wave brought unfamiliar challenges. Born in Israel and now living in Frankfurt, his life as an itinerant musician came to an abrupt halt from one day to the next in spring 2020. Not one for brooding, he started to use the abundance of free time to compose. As broad swathes of the world seemed to come to a standstill, large numbers of people were falling ill and grim images became the hallmark of the time – Klein’s thoughts and experiences were calling out for collection and expression.

With his gaze alternately focused inward and outward, little by little there emerged a narrative thread of extraordinary vibrancy and depth, in which he views the bigger picture in miniature.

As an expression of the constant fluctuation between solitude and the longing for togetherness, Omer Klein’s instrumental choices for the ten tracks on Personal Belongings are very telling.

In amongst the six pieces for solo piano, where his feeling for the instrument is patently stronger than ever, there are four tracks where he performs with his longstanding colleagues, Haggai Cohen-Milo on bass and Amir Bresler on drums. The ensuing tension creates a thrilling and engaging alternation between moments of quiet contemplation and energetic trio camaraderie. This special vibe is apparent right from the start of the album in the interlocking pieces “Kavana” and “Baghdad Blues” with their elements of Middle Eastern Romanticism and modern jazz improvisation.

“The Magnets”, seamlessly echoing both Brazil and Brahms, is a feverish-obsessed love song, that surprises with its pastoral ending, one of the most intimate moments in Klein’s catalog. Together with the lyrical “Sun Girl” both pieces are inspired by Klein’s relationship with his life partner. “The Flower and the Seed”, graceful and almost tripping along with cheerful insouciance, is dedicated to his children.

It goes without saying that some of the vital ingredients in the mix are freedom, interplay and the connections between people, countries, customs and languages. Omer Klein and his colleagues are experts in jazz and its boundless, ceaseless quest to reach out beyond itself. At the same time Klein’s music is entertaining, in the best sense of the word. The funky shuffle-swing “Shake It” isn’t easy to play but its sparkly melodies make it immediately accessible, even to jazz novices. It’s never Klein’s intention to impress but rather to craft his music as richly as possible.

Sometimes he takes his inspiration from literary sources, as in the mysterious solo piece “Najara”, named after a Jewish liturgical poet whose verses, full of yearning, inspired Klein to compose one of his most haunting melodies. At the end of Personal Belongings Klein has deliberately placed an intimate cover of the classic “What a Wonderful World”. It’s a profound statement, this, as, when he was studying the lyrics, he became aware of just how much pain the song’s surface charm conceals. After all, 2020 wasn’t just the year of Covid. It also highlighted the urgency of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky” – lyrics affirming the beauty of our diverse skin colours and cultures – made this song a must for Klein for the final track of Personal Belongings, as well as the line, so poignant in the days of Covid – “I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do, they’re really saying I love you”.

Omer Klein, piano
Haggai Cohen Milo, bass (tracks 2, 4, 6 & 8)
Amir Bresler, drums (tracks 2, 4, 6 & 8)


Omer Klein
A virtuoso pianist, an authoritative bandleader and a prolific composer, Omer Klein (29) is being marked by the media as one of the most exciting and original musicians on the international scene.

Since Klein embarked on his international career at age 23, he has released four albums that have received praising reviews in the American and European press. Klein has performed in more than 15 countries. His playing has captivated audiences in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Milan and more.

The Omer Klein Trio, with bassist Haggai Cohen Milo and drummer Ziv Ravitz, has released the album 'Rockets on the Balcony' in 2010, on John Zorn's prestigious label 'Tzadik'. The album was chosen as an Editors' Pick for December 2010 in Downbeat Magazine. The Trio performed a successful European tour in September 2011, and recorded a new album in New York in October. Release is expected in 2012, accompanied by touring through the summer and fall.

Omer Klein has collaborated with renowned artists such as John Zorn, Lee Konitz, Jeff Ballard, Joel Frahm, Omer Avital, Johnathan Blake, Israeli music icons like Yehudit Ravitz, Eviatar Banai and Rona Kenan, and many more.

Omer was born in 1982 in Israel, and began playing and composing music at the age of seven. As a teenager, Klein studied Jazz at the famous Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, and started playing concerts at age sixteen. In 2005, Klein moved to the US, where he attended the prestigious New England Conservatory. Klein's private teacher at NEC was the Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Perez.

He later moved to New York, where he played at the Blue Note and Carnegie Hall, among other venues. He has released four CDs to great acclaim: Duet (2007), Introducing Omer Klein (2008), the solo piano album Heart Beats (2009), and Rockets on the Balcony (2010), his first release on John Zorn's celebrated record label, Tzadik.

Omer is the winner of numerous awards, including the 1st prize at the Jazz Hoeilaart International Competition in Belgium. In 2011, Klein wrote the music for the play 'Lemon Tree' at the Schauspielhaus Theater in Düsseldorf.

This album contains no booklet.

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