Sunday, May 6, 2018
Concert Review: The Uriel Herman Quartet at Black Dolphin
A concert by the SFJazz Collective wasn’t the best jazz performance I took in on Friday, April 27. At Black Dolphin, a relatively unheralded Israeli quartet led by Uriel Herman played with more urgency than the all-star band at the Folly Theater.
Unencumbered from the strictures of America’s jazz tradition, Herman’s group resembled insolent heretics as they performed untoward acts on a form that’s often treated like a fragile antique by their American counterparts. Pianist Herman, saxophonist and flautist Uriel Weinberger, bassist Avri Borochov and drummer Haim Peskoff exuded correspondingly rebellious swagger. Even when Borochov wasn’t playing oud, the quartet incorporated Mediterranean elements into their foolhardy sound.
The setlist of the second set included the original compositions “Hour of the Wolf” and “White Night” as well as fresh interpretations of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things”.
A group of about a dozen tipsy men and women literally stumbled into the never-a-cover-charge venue at 10:45 p.m. In thrall of the quartet, a few of the unsuspecting celebrants appeared to fall in love with jazz for the first time. At least one old hand felt his passion for the form rekindled by the Israeli musicians after the lukewarm outing by the SFJazz Collective had dampened his enthusiasm earlier that evening.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)