Street Date: July 11th, 2017
With the support of musical titans, Haggai Cohen Milo on bass and Colin Stranahan on drums, Israeli guitarist, Rotem Sivan “emerges as a guitarist of great imagination and ferocious brilliance” (Raul Da Gama) to present his fourth album "Antidote". With Jazz Times Magazine regarding Sivan as a guitarist who, through his style and sound, brings a fresh flair and “a remarkable sophistication to jazz, which transcends audiences” from around the globe, “Antidote” is sure to provide its listeners with an innovative musical experience where meaning and class ooze from each note.
Originally from Israel, Rotem Sivan has created a strong presence worldwide (and at an alarming rate at that!). Not only has he established himself as a respected and prestigious jazz musician in the New York jazz circle, he has successfully toured across Europe and South America, with his talented and tightly-knit trio.
On “Antidote”, this ensemble skillfully and purposely decided to use separation during the recording process; a technique that they had not used on their previous, debut album. As Rotem himself explains, this allowed him as a guitarist “to mix in a range of elements from other music genres”, which when one listens to this recording can immediately detect that this was a core feature of the album. Many also regard this album as having a huge and significant connection between particular elements of the music and Sivan’s personal emotions; and they are certainly not wrong to think so! As Rotem explains:
“The music for this album is a product of the shock and heartbreak I experienced when my girlfriend of more than seven years unexpectedly ended our relationship. These are some of the songs I wrote over the years as I coped and learned how to love again, and they represent different points on my journey.”
With knowing the heartfelt story behind the writing process of this album, it is hard to avoid noticing the expressive relationship between emotion and music, so strongly existent throughout the record. Each track has its own distinct musical character, empathetic to the specific emotion that Rotem presents on said track. For example, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, with silky vocals by Gracie Terzian, may be the jazziest rendition of this standard you will ever hear, whereas the title track off the album has a certain sense of anguish attached to its performance. Then, in contrast to both of those tracks, “Reconstruction” is an instrumental odyssey with a dramatically abrupt, question mark ending. The trio provides a delicate jazz lullaby-esque cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” and “For Emotional Use Only”—perhaps the most tangibly personal track on the album, is melancholy, meditative, and utterly transfixing.
This continuous connection between emotion and sound gilds the record with a beautiful, artistic depth. However, even without factoring in the album’s deep personal significance to the artist, “Antidote” is an intensely rewarding listening experience from beginning to end. The classic jazz foundation is present throughout this genre-straddling album and that’s it. That’s the significant musical facet of this record; although jazz is at the core, each track veers boldly from one genre to the next, and Sivan’s brilliantly idiosyncratic and simply spellbinding guitar work provides the unifying force which easily carries the listener from song to song.
MORE ABOUT ROTEM SIVAN
Rotem Sivan completed his studies in both classical composition and jazz with honors in Tel Aviv & NYC. Sivan tours with his trio most of the year playing in world-renowned festivals and clubs in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, UK, Slovenia, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Israel, USA, and Canada, among others, and has given workshops around the world in top universities and schools. Rotem has developed a strong online presence with over 28k followers on Instagram alone. Upon graduation Sivan moved to NYC to pursue his passion for jazz. While making his first steps in the local scene he was also studying at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. Since his relocation, Sivan has performed with many prominent musicians, including Peter Bernstein, Ari Hoenig, Ben Street and Ferenc Nemeth. Sivan can be seen regularly at the city’s top venues such as Smalls, Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, The Bar Next Door and The Blue Note. He has performed at many international festivals such as Polanco Jazz Festival, Chutzpah Jazz Festival, Marseille Jazz Festival, Venice Jazz Festival, Fara Jazz Festival, Exposure Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Utopia Music Festival, Bern Jazz Festival and Sonora Jazz Festival to name a few. In 2013 he released his debut album “Enchanted Sun” on SteepleChase Records, followed by his second album “For Emotional Use Only” on Fresh Sound New Talent Records. Jazz critics and magazines around the world praised both albums, receiving 4.5 stars from Downbeat Magazine. Sivan released his third album "A New Dance" in 2015 with bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Colin Stranahan, which was again met with critical acclaim.
"Right in the classic George Benson kind of pocket, straight up jazz guitar fans handily have a new taste treat to savor here." Read the full review here.
GEORGE W. HARRIS
"Solo arias include a fragrant “Rustic Heart,” fragile “Knives and percussive “Bruchim Ha Nimtzam,” making all of the material here feel like impressionist water colors. Rich textures in open fields." Read the full review here.
BANDCAMP - JULY TOP PICK
"Sivan’s past work had every reason to appear on listeners’ radars, but his newest is a serious step up." Read the full feature here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"Sivan brings a unique pairing of preparedness and abandon to his playing, with a refined, nimble touch coaxing rather than forcing sound from the guitar." Read the full review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"With the release of Antidote, this high-caliber guitarist has separated himself from the pack. But he does so by moving beyond technical realms." Read the full review here.
"Israeli-born guitarist and composer Rotem Sivan specializes in elusive beauty." Read the full review here.
"There are eleven great songs, clocking in at 38 minutes, and my pick for personal favorite is the 4:47 “Sun Song”… great interplay between the players on this tune, and Rotem’s guitar is smooth as silk." Read full review here.
RAUL DA GAMA
JAZZ DA GAMA
"Through it all, Rotem Sivan forages for new ways to ‘sing’ in melodic line, sometimes breaking away to harmonise with himself and often with unfettered improvisation. A very fine album indeed." Check out the full review here.
"In a well-shaken cocktail of styles and influences, Antidote feels remarkably unified and denotes a tasty freshness." Read the full review here.
"He's a nimble player and an engaging composer, and his trio including bassist haggai Cohen Milo and drummer Colin Stranahan are gelling magnificently." Read the full review here.