Omer Klein played with his trio in LanterenVenster in Rotterdam on February 15. The star of the pianist, who was born in Israel in 1982, rose in the New York jazz scene. Klein currently lives in Germany and from there he conquers the rest of the world. Omer Klein played in Rotterdam in the week that bass player Avishai Cohen appeared on the same stage. Cohen has chosen for a pop-like approach, which turns out to be neither one thing nor the other, but Omer Klein sticks to his pure musical idiom. He brings a catchy mix of playful piano jazz and Israeli folk music. Klein is a surprisingly inventive composer and an elegantly playing pianist.
From the moment Klein enters the stage he takes the lead in his trio, but the rhythm section does much more than merely serve its pianist. Bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Amir Bresler (who previously drummed with Avishai Cohen) form a flexible groovy rhythm tandem. With delicately increasing tension they push Omer Klein to unprecedented musical heights. The three clearly enjoy performing together; while playing, they seem to surprise each other all the time with inventive musical ideas. The Omer Klein Trio seduces the half-full Rotterdam hall by opening with optimistic funky pieces that bring smiles on the faces of many visitors. The music gets even more exciting when Klein deliberately falls out of step rhythmically and melodically.
Klein is not only an overwhelmingly playing pianist but he is also an entertaining host with a perfect timing. After pulling out his jacket and a joke about his own good looks, he continues with a moving ballad, in which beauty and melancholy flow together. Klein tells his Rotterdam visitors something that is usually expressed in music. As an introduction to the moving ‘Wonder and Awe’, the pianist reflects on his childhood years: ‘We should be amazed about life more often.’
As an encore the Omer Klein trio plays the beautiful ballad ‘Spilled Milk’. ‘Every concert is a unique event. Thank you for sharing this night with us,’ concludes Klein. I’m glad we have witnessed this memorable concert tonight.