Sahar, the title of Or Bareket’s new album for the Enja label, carries several different meanings: In Bareket’s native Hebrew, it translates to “crescent,” while in Arabic languages it can be interpreted as the time just before dawn or early morning. As the Israeli-born, New York-based bass player and composer told JAZZIZ’s Jonathan Widran, he was aiming for that dreamy territory on “the edge of night right before dawn, and the state of mind associated with that.” Bareket certainly succeeds, his contemplative playing and compositions combining deep Middle Eastern roots with modern-jazz sensibilities. Like-minded colleagues — saxophonist/organist Morgan Guerin, pianist Jeremy Corren, drummer Savannah Harris and producer Joel Ross — provide a cohesive, mood-rich sound palette. Corren’s melancholy piano opens “Temperance,” our selection, and he’s soon joined by Guerin’s emotive tenor and Harris’ light percussive touch, all underpinned by Bareket’s sensitive bass motif. The piece grows in intensity, sparkling with the electronic sounds of EWI, before returning to its introspective origins.

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The Authoritative Voice in Jazz