The group exceeding expectations, creating electricity within the audience at the Atlanta Jazz Festival was Tatran. This Israeli based group took a sunny afternoon and transformed it into an evolving ride through the musical universe.
'Evolution' is a keyword with Tatran. In some respects they are re-inventing the wheel but on the other hand they are a reflection of how our changing society forces music to evolve, for musicians reflect the world they came from and the world where they reside.
Their set started with an electronic feel, incorporating tones of a sci-fi cosmic universe. Space tones - if such a thing exists - were mixed with jazz and rock melodies. There were also reflections of the entertainment people are use to these days. I found myself contemplating that Tatran's music was right at home in a computer generation, one with those weird internet sounds we encounter daily, right alongside gaming and fantasy soundtracks.
Their set grew stronger with each song and it wasn't long before people were flocking from over the hill, toward their stage to see for themselves what was happening. And with it they got to see my, 'I Am Spartacus' award recipient (Bing that movie reference) - Dan Mayo.
Mayo was an absolute monster on the drums. There was no bounds he didn't want to explode through and typically did. His drumming propelled the trio into a supernatural-like power driven fusion of styles that kept the audience awed. This drumming performance was probably the best one I have seen in years. The energy behind it seemed sourced by a solar star that was far from burn out stage.
The drumming was matched by Tamuz Dekel who turned his guitar into a blender of rock, jazz and electronic styles that redefined what to expect out of your lead guitarist. Offir Benjaminov on bass exceeded jazz expectations, proving he could fuse himself right into the other members' styles on the drop of a dime.
Do I sound enthusiastic about this band? I am. This was one of the most interesting, intellectually challenging and inspiring sets I have seen in a long, long time. I would LOVE to see this group again. I had never heard of them before but would run a little old lady over in line to steal her ticket given half the chance. (Only kidding, sorta). If you get a chance to see them, do so. I suspect this is a group that exceeds it's studio work with it's live performances. Visit their WEBSITE to learn about their music. Thanks Tatran for making the festival so memorable!