"Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" (Barris, Koehler, Mall)
"Israeli Waltz" (Hendelman)
"BQE" (Makoto Ozone)
"Tombeau de Couperin" (Ravel, arr. Hendelman)
"Anthropology" (Gillespie, Parker)
"You Stepped Out of a Dream" (Brown, Kahn)
Tamir Hendelman had just flown to LAX from England, and bassist Marco Panascia from New York, to meet drummer Lewis Nash on the bandstand at the Sherman Oaks club and restaurant (since closed). They became fast friends. In Hendelman's words, "We just made it happen. One magical night, boom, and then the next day we were in the studio." Their studio session became Hendelman's new album, Destinations, and JazzSet has the live set.
Tamir is alert, his antennae and fingers dancing to the nuances of every situation. As the pianist in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, his trio arrangements are influenced by John Clayton's dynamic orchestral writing, a fellow CHJO member notes. And to top his own credibility as one of the busiest pianists in Los Angeles, Barbara Streisand hired Hendelman for her night at The Village Vanguard in 2009, which is now on DVD.
Tamir Hendelman handles it all with ease. He's done so all his life. At 12, he and his family moved from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles. At 14, he won a Yamaha keyboard competition. At 15, he made his first musical trip to Japan and rode the bullet train at 300 mph past Mt. Fuji. (He says you have to do that; it's amazing.)
He writes that this trio is "three friends — one from New York, one from Italy, and one from Tel Aviv — sharing our love for music, transporting you to a different place, knowing each destination is another beginning."
His "Tombeau de Couperin" is a 21st-century tribute to a 20th-century composer's take on the 18th century, as Hendelman likes to say. He based it on the Maurice Ravel solo piano suite, Le Tombeau de Couperin for composer Francois Couperin. He segues from "Tombeau" to Gillespie and Parker's "Anthropology" — fast, nicely harmonized and with a new interlude.
Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone named his composition for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York. In L.A., city of freeways, Tamir Hendelman got a yen for the tune and added it to the set list before he even knew the meaning of the title: "BQE."
We close with "The Jones Brothers" by Jeff Clayton, performed by the Clayton Brothers Quintet, from a JazzSet appearance at the University of Michigan.