Where the Light Gets In
What sets Jaffa Road apart from the latest crop of Toronto, ON-based world music revivalists might just be theoretical. On their second LP, Where the Light Gets In, the Toronto quintet choose to summon the musical spirits of the near-East through melody and execution rather than rhythm and structure. Aviva Chernick's grounded vocals, paired with Jeffrey Wilson's chill-out-inspired beats, allow each track to have a genial effect. But Where the Light Gets In works best is when instrumentalists Lightstone (oud), Gartner (bass) and Viswanathan (sax/flute) are allowed to stretch out, giving tracks like "Sim Shalom" and "Hamidbar Medaber" an audacious and foreign feel, one not based on genre or influence. But all too often, Jaffa Road fall into smooth jazz territory, relying on moaning vocals and quixotic sax to create a specific mood. However, there are far too many bright spots (some even brilliant) to dismiss Where the Light Gets In. The listener just needs to get comfortable with an album that desires to tell in places it should show.
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