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Noy, Oz: HA!

Magnatude Records, the offshoot label of New York City-based Magna Carta, has quietly been building a solid roster of instrumental releases in a variety of genres - including jazz, fusion and prog. Among the label's latest offerings is HA!, the first CD from Israeli guitarist Oz Noy, a popular session player who has been making music since the age of 13. A witty, groovy and flexible player, Noy incorporates all of those genres (and a few more) into HA!, and he allows his guitar to take on many different sounds and sonic textures - from a brass section to a fired weapon. Backing him on HA! is the rhythm section from The Late Show with David Letterman (Anton Fig on drums and Will Lee on bass), as well as renowned fusion guitarist Mike Stern, keys man George Whitty, drummer Keith Carlock and bassist James Genus.

Noy relies on spacey grooves for "Haa!" and a surprisingly dark undercurrent for "What Love Is." Meanwhile, "Downside Up" squawks and rolls, and the snappy "Hey You" mimics a broken record, complete with vinyl crackles and pops. Noy also performs respectful renditions of Thelonius Monk's "Blue Monk" and "I Can't Make You Love Me," popularized by Bonnie Raitt and played to mournful effect here.

Wih 10 tracks spread over 70 minutes, HA! could have been shorter. But at least Noy seems to understand the value of variety, helping make this album - a challenging listen, at times - more enjoyable than your average instrumental endeavor. Keep an ear on Noy.

Track Listing:
1) Chillin'
2) Sit Tight
3) Haa!
4) Say What
5) What Love Is
6) Hey You
7) Downside Up
8) Blue Monk
9) Hit Me
10) I Can't Make You Love Me

Added: May 31st 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Magnatude Records
Hits: 2313
Language: english

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