|View of the Jerusalem Hills|
|Seated at Makom Balev|
|View of Ruins at Shivta (near Nitzana)|
|Tel Aviv Museum of Art|
|Earth Worms - 1946|
|Illuminated Woman, 1966-1967|
|Isrotel Ganim / along Ein Botek "Strip"|
|Man "Buoyed up" in The Dead Sea|
|Ein Gedi Park - Ibix|
We hiked up to the pools & waterfalls at various levels and meandered in and around the park, also hiking, not far,
|Ancient Synagogue - Tile Floor|
But one of the most interesting experiences we had on this trip to Israel turned out to be a jazz concert in Kfar Saba, featuring Leonid Ptashka (with a bassist & drums), the Russian-Israeli jazz phenom whose piano just sizzles as he pounds out traditional jazz themes, folk-inflected jazz tunes, pop (jazz) tunes, salsa & syncopated rhythmic fare.
|Leonid Ptashka in Concert|
Ptashka combines, in the jazz idiom, the somewhat incongruous sparks & fire of a Jerry Lee Lewis, the attention-drawing dress (white jacket, red boots, pompadour, rings) of an entertainer like Liberace, the frenetic fingers on the piano a la Thelonious Monk, and the technical skill & emphatic approach of an Andre Watts. Ptashka's "act" (and I certainly don't use the word in any derogatory sense) must be seen & heard first, in concert (or club), then a listener can be mesmerized by the music on a CD, alone! Just listen, for example, to his stunningly precise interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia," or his "borderline mellow" version of Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right."
In sum, Leonid Ptashka, according to the biographical notes to be found on his web site "... has established himself as a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant performer and an artist passionately committed to his music." [italics added]
Just pick up a copy of the CD, Leonid Ptashka & Jazz Friends, 2005; listen with care ... & you'll be a convert, too!
|Israeli Opera at the Foot of Masada|