One Movement - Yossi Tamim

01 Kindergarten
02 Double
03 Sevivon
04 Morning Dance
05 One Movement Part 1
06 One Movement Part II
07 One Movement Part III


Yossi Tamim is an Israeli-born New York-based guitarist and composer deeply influenced by both American jazz and European classical music.  His debut CD One Movement features intricate, mostly through-composed pieces with improvised solos, for jazz rhythm section and string quartet.

The CD features top New York musicians from both musical worlds: The stellar jazz rhythm section includes pianist/composer Jim Ridl, drummer Tim Horner, and bassist Tom DiCarlo. The string quartet includes violinists Wende Namkung and Hector Falcon, violist liuh-Wen Ting, and cellist Rubin Kodheli.

About the Compositions

Kindergarten is based on a simple melody that develops as it passes through different tonal centers. The piece strikes a balance between the structured foundation (with strings) and the improvised sections (with guitar and piano solos). It is called Kindergarten because the main melodic and rhythmic motif has a child-like feeling, invoking memories of my childhood.

Double comes from the unlikely intersection of two of my passions: for Bach’s music and dancing.  I consider Bach one of the greatest improvisers of all times and one of my main inspirations. After coming back home from a latin dance evening, I began improvising on Bach’s Double from Partita No.1 for Violin in B Minor, but with a Latin feel in a 7/8 time signature. This is how the melody for my own composition Double emerged.

Sevivon was inspired by some of Chopin’s harmonic movements (although it takes some imagination to hear that) and the suite form, common to European classical music. I began writing it during the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. Sevivon is the Hebrew name for the four-sided top that children play with on that holiday. (It is also the name of a popular Hannukah song.) The Hebrew letters on each side of the top represent four miracles which occurred in ancient times.  It took a long time for this piece to take shape and, when it finally did, I felt like a miracle was happening to me as well.

Morning Dance is all about the groove. The inspiration for this piece comes from the combination of straight-ahead jazz playing and salsa dancing. Sometimes when I am in the process of writing, I tire myself out by thinking too hard about some of the more complex aspects of composition.  I need to set it aside and allow myself the fun of improvising on a simple groove.  I composed this piece one morning when i woke up and didn’t feel like dealing with complexities.  I washed my face, made a cup of coffee and just started dancing!  Afterwards, when I picked up my guitar, this is the music that came out.

One Movement is both the title track and the meaning of this project for me. It was my intention to bring together into “one movement” all the musical elements that have inspired me, from the great European classical composers to the American masters of jazz composition and improvisation.  This ballad was deeply influenced by both musical traditions, but felt like the first of my pieces to emerge truly somewhere in between the two. I had the sense that my own musical direction was taking form, and that everything was beginning to fall into (one) place.