Shai Maestro Releases “Human”, Featuring Jorge Roeder
Pianist Shai Maestro has released a new album called Human, which sees his trio with Jorge Roeder and Ofri Nehemya turned into a quartet with trumpeter Philip Dizack. The group explores a wide variety of textures and emotions through its eleven tracks.
“There was always a special understanding between us on how we see music and how we see life,” Maestro says of his regular bandmates. “It’s one of those relationships that it feels like it’s always been there. Philip’s trumpet playing sounds to me like a human voice speaking to you and adding him to the trio takes us to our next level.”
“Hank and Charlie” is a beautiful ballad that pares the band down to only bass and drums with Maestro and Roeder paying homage to two late jazz greats.
“Hank Jones and Charlie Haden are my heroes,” Maestro says. “Their finesse, minimalism, storytelling and sounds are breathtaking. I have been obsessed for many years with their album of spirituals and hymns, Steal Away. Though I’m not a religious person, I wrote this piece thinking about a kind of worship song, a prayer. It is my way of expressing my gratitude to two giants of this music.”
Maestro’s writing also puts Roeder’s extremely capable playing to the test with an intricate tapestry of arrangements. The sole jazz standard on the album, “In A Sentimental Mood,” has the bassist playing syncopated parts high in thumb position. (You should check his Instagram for a peek.) You can also hear it in “Mystery and Illusions.”
“A couple of years ago Shai brought this song to the trio and I fell in love with it right away,” Roeder says. “Aside from the bass challenge, which is a part of many of his compositions, it’s just a beautiful song from top to bottom. And in his own words, composing it was an unusually quick process. To me it says a lot about not overthinking a tune and letting it come out.”
Human Track List:
- Mystery and Illusions
- The Thief’s Dream
- Hank and Charlie
- They Went To War
- In a Sentimental Mood
- Ima (For Talma Maestro)