Habbina Habbina live at Drom

The lights were dim and the stage was set for an unforgettable evening of groovy, bottom shaking party, the kind of a Middle Eastern Surf Rock sensation Habbina Habbina is known to provide. Performing with the Turkish superstars Gaye Su Akyol this was a special evening for Habbina Habbina as well. Their crew had a massive surprise of their own – hosting a very special guest, one to become a constant star guest in this hard funky unit, bass player Rudy Semah. Semah (of Junior Mance, Brian d’Arcy James, Jose Luis Pardo) is a hell of a player, one that changes the score board and spreads a joyful bliss through his masterful playing. He is considered a very prominent force in the NY and the Israeli jazz scene, who adds a lot of Middle Eastern goodness from his native Israel. The band was burning – Amit Peled on guitar is a true wizard and Phil Mayer (Natalie Merchant, Kishi Bashi, The Knights, The National Symphony Orchestra) on drums can give a stone lesson on solidness. Together they took us on a journey through the dusty roads of Egypt up to Turkey without missing a beat. The crowd couldn’t get enough as the dancefloor was filling up rapidly with dancing bodies, marking this show as a audience favorite and garnering the respect of the international band Gaye Su Akyol who performed at DROM as a part of their American tour. We were fortunate to have Habbina Habbina as a band providing original sounds from the Mid East and having the ability to host special guests and talents like Semah., at such an important venue, Drom.
And indeed, looking closely at Semah has revealed a phenomenally imaginative bassist and highly original composer, whose reputation already precedes him; He has recently recorded “Brazil Is Out” with Grammy award winner Jose Luis Pardo, the album “Birds of Prey”, and an EP with Anik Khan. His bands, especially Rudy Semah Trio, Nocturne, Stage 39, Saz Band, and Everybody Is Beautiful, blew us away. We can’t wait for his upcoming releases hopefully this year. Soon, Semah will be plugging at it even more with a new band leading tour. Just watch his performances, and make the point yourself reaffirming why he is considered such a unique and music creator who leads the Israeli and US scenes. His new songs are quick, snappy, and run through pretty fast, gripping you as any good correspondence should, and dropping things just as soon as the time is right. Other works with his quartet introduce an act with equal parts delicacy and weight about their creative expression, with subtle riffs and dreamy quietness. It’s good to keep Rudy in mind as the jarringly good modern jazz band leader of our time that you should constantly keep in mind. Give his music a lot of listen.


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