‘Expanse’ is the sophomore album from Tel Aviv’s top jazz and funk trumpeter: Sefi Zisling. Building on his debut LP ‘Beyond The Things I Know’, released on Raw Tapes – Tel Aviv’s leading collective, and championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson (BBC 6Music), Stamp The Wax, Toshio Matsuura (Worldwide FM), NTS, FIP, Radio Nova, Twistedsoul – ‘Expanse’ is fronted by lead-single “Happy Solar Return ft. Kutiman”, a nine-minute afro-beat voyage that takes the listener on a journey through serendipitous phases and moods.
Inspired by his childhood heroes of John Coltrane, Grant Green and Fred Wesley, ‘Expanse’ combines the sounds of afro-jazz, psychedelic funk and spiritual jazz to create an album that echoes the great creators of Alice Coltrane, Fela Kuti and Donald Byrd, while paving a new path – all catalysed through the trumpet.
Recorded as a collaborative live session with all of Sefi’s close and talented friends, including live members: Omri Shani (bass), Tom Bollig (drums), Noam Havkin (drums) and long-time collaborators: Idan Kupferberg (percussion), Uzi Ramirez (guitar), Tair Slutzki (trombone), ‘Expanse’ captures the essence of the classic jazz sessions, committed to the outcome – mistakes and spontaneous moments included.
“I had to bring the musicians I trust the most and that we feel together like a family” Sefi explains, “I think that this feeling is very much present in the music”. Talking about the tracks on the album, Sefi elaborates: “There’s a healthy tension between the tight and groovy to the free and the abstract… harmony is achieved by embracing the disharmony in our life, and that darkness and light are equally important”. Sefi’s music acts a dialogue between bright and dark colours, solid grooves and abstract melodies; making ‘Expanse’ an instant classic, dignified in aesthetic and practice.
Album opener “High Ride” is the perfect introduction to this, blending traditional improvisational jazz to create something that feels both classic and contemporary. “The Sky Slings” is the only lyrical track on the record, featuring long-time collaborator Layla Moallem, Layla’s sister Jasmin Moallem, and Karen Dun from Buttering Trio. “Flip Mode” is a free-funk tune inspired by Sun Ra’s ‘Lanquidity’ album, while “Ongoing Morning” see’s Sefi enter a slow tapestry of downtempo jazz and trip-hop. “Happy Solar Return” features prolific Israeli musician, producer and animator Kutiman aka Ophir Kutiel on keyboard, who Sefi was a band member of Kutiel’s The Kutiman Orchestra for years. The record closes with an ambitious “Epilogue”, a sixteen-minute improv jazz finale.