Tevet Sela ©Brett Delmage, 2015
Tevet Sela brings his quartet to Record Runner on Saturday ©Brett Delmage, 2015

Every Sunday OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from the dozens of live jazz events in our comprehensive Live Jazz Guide we send to donors. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice.

Saturday, June 1, 2019: Live @ Record Runner: The Tevet Sela Quartet at Record Runner Rehearsal Studios

Montreal's jazz scene has frequently been enriched by musicians who have lived in other countries, and brought their training and traditions with them. Alto saxophonist Tevet Sela is one of them. Originally from Israel, he began playing professionally there and composing at age 16, and worked as a session player, in house bands of popular Israeli television shows as well as contributing to many albums, TV and film soundtracks. Sela moved to Montreal in 2010, and has since then fitted well into the local jazz scene, releasing several albums and playing with many well-known jazz musicians. In 2015, he was nominated for both the Montreal Jazz Festival's Grand Prix de Jazz and Quebec's Opus Prize.

Sela has visited Ottawa several times in the last few years with pianist John Roney, playing from their 2017 duo album, The River. That project was described in a review in Whole Note as "lyrical, poignant, probing, driving, intimate, hypnotic, expansive, compelling, moving and mellifluous" and as "a singular musical journey that does indeed flow with a river’s momentum". Most recently, this February he released MIZMOR, a duo album with pianist, vocalist, and harmonica player Jason Rosenblatt, whose original music was "inspired by the ancient cantillations of old Morocco, the uplifting klezmer melodies of Eastern-Europe and the glorious modal improvisations of John Coltrane".

This time, however, he's back with his quartet, playing his own compositions, which he describes as dexterous post-bop, "often drenched in heavy blues and the Middle-Eastern inflections of his Israeli cultural heritage." Sela has released three quartet albums, most recently 2014's Lying Sun, with two of the musicians at Saturday's show (Roney and drummer Martin Auguste).

Based on that album, expect agile saxophone, expressive piano, and soulful melodies and rhythms at this show.

Live @ Record Runner presents the Tevet Sela Quartet (Tevet Sela on alto sax, John Roney on keyboards, Olivier Babaz on double bass, and Martine Auguste on drums) on Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) Tickets are $25 and are available at the door or on the Record Runner website.

Get there! Record Runner Rehearsal Studios is located at 159 Colonnade Road South, Unit 6 (walk down the parking lot to the end of the building). OC Transpo route 89 stops immediately in front of the building. Try the OC Transpo Trip Planner to find your trip to the show!