Composer and saxophonist Amit Friedman positions himself as one of today's leading jazz musicians in Israel. Friedman's compositions, combining sophistication and simplicity that communicate to all listeners, his unique arrangements and renowned playing, have captured a wide and varied audience of devoted jazz fans. The music, while loyal to the jazz tradition, fuses within it elements of world music with a special emphasis on Middle Eastern music. In the Sextet's debut album one can hear all the members of the band shine as soloists as well as a cohesive, mature and energetic ensemble that makes music with a flair and spirit of celebration and love of life.
The concept behind Blues at Sunrise is a good one: collect ten of SRV's best slow blues numbers, primarily from the official studio albums but also a couple of unreleased cuts and rarities, and sequence them as if they were a lost studio album. It's a neat idea, especially when it's packaged in artwork that deliberately evokes memories of classic blues albums from the '60s (there's even a fake, faded record ring on the front and back covers), and it's hard to fault the music here. All the obvious selections are here – "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up on Love," "The Things (That) I Used to Do," "Leave My Girl Alone." And the rarities are all worthwhile, including a live "Texas Flood" from the Live at the El Macambo video, a live duet with Johnny Copeland on "Tin Pan Alley" from 1985, an unreleased take of "The Sky Is Crying" from Couldn't Stand the Weather, and a duet with Albert King on "Blues at Sunrise" (also available on the Fantasy disc In Session).
Band principal Adrian Jones (Guitars) is supported by top class musicians from The Netherlands: Peter Vink on bass (Q65/Ayreon/Star One), Pieter van Hoorn on drums (Knight Area), and Britain: Marc Atkinson on vocals and Brendan Eyre on keys (Riversea). The package is completed by Antonio Seijas' beautifully haunting artwork. The result is a sonic treat with truly soaring moments on tracks such as Frozen Moment, A Secret, The Weight, and the epic title track. One Eye on the Sunrise is mandatory listening for prog fans and will surely be talked about as one of the best releases of 2012.