Rendezvous are a diasporic creative ensemble. Consisting only of Itai Simon and Hagai Izenberg and formed in 2003, they craft beautiful, instrumental moodscapes, telescoping in on peripheral but key details. For their first inception, a three-piece live studio session, recorded in April last year, it’s like traditional and contemporary jazz are both forced to take a hike into the wide unknown.
Still, there’s a slight frigidity about them and the arrangements they make. But frigidity here is nice. "No Man’s Land" captures the feeling of being caught in a loop of menacing particles, and the past life of smooth but experimental jazz flows before the eyes. The good thing about Rendezvous is that they tend to look back, not because they miss what happened back in the day, but as a juicy resource.
On this particular recording they are augmented by the saxophone played by a guy called Andrei, who blasts air through the valves in an elusive and fascinating way, and the drum work of Erez Bahar, a plasmatic collage of punctual and somehow paranoid beats. The overall product is so well crafted that saxophone and drums switch tempo and metre hand in glove with the bass lines and the Fender Rhodes.
Mastered at Eshel Studios in Tel-Aviv, this sonic journey clocks in over thirty minutes and leaves a mouthwatering desire for the listener to deal with. Simple but jugular-popping, "So What" feels like a syncopated jam session under the midnight sun. "Incognito (featuring Summertime)" is a landmark piece which sews together this referential work with more adventures in hi-fi, where spurts of culture-based harmony emerge with no complacency.
In fact, these cultural fragments radiate outwards from the final output, making the EP all the more fascinating. Rendezvous are not clinging to the standard, and quite putrid, template of market-fuelled musicality, but rather exceeding all parameters of modern composition. My two thumbs go way up for this one.