Yosef Gutman Levitt – Upside Down Mountain

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Such sublime beauty…

Yosef Gutman Levitt – Upside Down Mountain – Self produced LP- 2022 – ****

(Yosef Gutman Levitt – acoustic bass guitar; Omri Mor – piano; Ofri Nehemya – drums)

We are in tumultuous times- natural disasters, fears of a recession, and an ongoing pandemic are just a few major stresses we face today. This is a period when we need, and crave. another path, that of beauty and tranquility. That is a world that Yosef Gutman Levitt, a deeply observant  Orthodox Jewish acoustic bass guitarist, takes us with him on his new LP release, Upside Down Mountain. 

Yosef took a bite of the Big Apple for a decade after attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The rigors of life in the big city became too much for Yosef, and he relocated to Jerusalem in 2009. He regained his passion for music there, and his new release exhibits a gift for rich melodies in the upper register of the acoustic bass guitar. Backed with taste by Israeli contemporaries, Omri Mor, and drummer Ofri Nehemya, Yosef improvises freely. He conceived the vision for this album in a single sitting, leaving room for piano and drums to flesh out the six tracks.

The result is a glorious mix of spiritual improvisation. Levitt brings to mind Eberhard Weber, with his creative exploration on an acoustic instrument that we seldom hear in jazz. The acoustics on the album are warm, clear and resonant. Ofri’s brush work on drums , and Omri’s deft piano lines add so much.

“Wedding Song” has an anthemic melody, and Yosef’s acoustic bass is so well recorded that you feel the “pluck” of the strings. “Time with Abba (“father”) is gentle and thoughtful, like a father caressing his son. “Family” has a folk music vibe, while “Hodu L’Hashem” (Thanks Be to G_d) is upbeat, driven by Mor’s piano, combining towards a hymn, honoring the Almighty.

This album is a brief, yet eloquent, respite for our ails. Levitt’s spirituality is a space that needs to be shared in a search for tranquility.

This fine album can be purchased through the Bandcamp website.

Tracklist
Side A:
Wedding Song
Time with Abba
Family (Folk vibe)

Side B:
Poltova
The Warriors
Hodu L’Hashem

—Jeff Krow

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Album Cover for Yosef Gutman Levitt - Upside Down Mountain

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