Tevet Sela – Sweet Tears (ENG review)

Tevet Sela – Sweet Tears

This album by saxophonist Tevet Sela is one of our “Favorites” of 2024. Its vibrant compositions will undeniably remind you of slightly dated music from the 60s and 70s, spread across eight tracks. Since his move to Montreal in 2010, saxophonist and composer Tevet Sela has quickly become a leading figure in Canada’s dynamic jazz scene. His first seven albums – Tevet Sela (2003), Coming True (2007), Jazz Flute (2010), Lying Sun (2014), The River (2017), Mizmor (2019), and Live at The Rex (2023) – have received critical acclaim. Sela’s latest album, Sweet Tears, is a deeply personal and emotional album that aims straight for the heart. The rich mosaic of songs on the album addresses the constantly shifting balance between happiness and sadness in our lives.

Here, we find a very classic form of jazz that offers few surprises, with rather joyful melodies over which the saxophonist weaves all his artistry, characterized by his rounded attacks, energized by a team of exciting musicians. The lineup includes Tevet Sela on Alto Saxophone, John Roney on Piano, Mike Downes on Bass, and Mark Kelso on Drums. For over two decades, Sela has performed at countless jazz festivals and international concert halls, and has been nominated for the TD Grand Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as well as the Opus Prize for Jazz Concert of the Year.

The music of Sweet Tears is not purist in nature. As a musical melting pot, the album weaves together scales, rhythms, harmonies, and inflections from klezmer and Middle Eastern traditions, mixing them with sounds from R&B and Latin jazz traditions. We particularly appreciate that the tracks on this album are original creations, and it is certainly in terms of compositions that we were pleasantly surprised. Borrowing delightfully from several musical styles without losing its soul and identity, Tevet Sela takes great pleasure in making us travel. These meticulously written compositions, focused on melody, performed by some of Canada’s most sought-after musicians, make this album an immediate masterpiece. Sweet Tears takes the listener on an introspective journey. Its purifying effect will leave a lasting and soulful impression. Allow yourself to be touched and carried away by its charms.

So, take some time to delve into this album. Although the music may seem straightforward at first, Sela blurs the lines and becomes more complex with each track. Even if it’s not the album that has thrilled us the most this year, we can only recommend it. It is a curiosity that, once fully listened to, is almost unclassifiable. Clearly, this artist’s years on stage have forged his universe far beyond traditional forms. This is the kind of album you will keep as a curiosity to share with your friends.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, June 16th 2024

Follow PARIS-MOVE on X


To buy this album