Pinch Records Announces the Release of Daniel Meron's "Pendulum"

Article Contributed by gratefulweb | Published on Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Pinch Records is delighted to announce the release of "Pendulum," the latest recording from acclaimed pianist, composer, and arranger Daniel Meron, marking his fifth leader release. Across nine original compositions and one arrangement, Meron showcases a modern jazz sound infused with Middle Eastern and Latin influences. Conceptually, "Pendulum" depicts a journey of the soul flourishing away from its roots, evolving, changing, yet finding that its core remains. Much like the practice of improvising itself, "Pendulum" celebrates intuition both individually and collectively.

For this elusive, magical balancing act, Meron recruited some of New York’s most innovative jazz musicians, including drummer Mark Whitfield Jr., bassist Tamir Shmerling, flutist Itai Kriss, and tenor saxophonist Jonathan Greenstein. The session, mixed and mastered by renowned audio engineer E Scott Lindner, was recorded at Long Island City’s premier Pinch Recording studio.

Meron has long championed composition as a personal offering to listeners—an invitation into his world of experiences. Born in Israel to a family of Egyptian and Syrian descent, Meron took to the piano at eight years old, gradually shifting his focus from classical music to pop, blues, and eventually jazz. He went on to serve in the Israeli military and was appointed Chief Military Arranger before obtaining a degree from Berklee College of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Danilo Perez, Hal Crook, and Joe Lovano. Meron has since established himself as a prominent figure in the New York jazz scene over the last decade. He cites Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett as influences, noting that both “complete the picture” for what he loves about jazz, specifically the genre’s sensitivity and playfulness.

While Meron’s earlier discography shows a reverence to a more pure, acoustic style of jazz piano, later projects such as Electric Pool’s 2023 "Someday in Cape Town" capture a more experimental Meron—he’s heard exclusively on synths and keys with Electric Pool, a thrill-seeking, genre-bending trio format anchored in electronica. Now returning on "Pendulum," Meron integrates his love for improvisation into original compositions that are both sophisticated and lyrical, rich with influences from jazz, Middle Eastern, and Latin music.

“Marzuk,” the album’s opening track, is named after Meron’s original family name, which was changed by his grandparents after experiencing discrimination as immigrants from Egypt. A shimmering piano starts the song, presenting the main riff in a pentatonic scale, quickly rounded by the open tones of Whitfield’s drums and Shmerling’s deep bass. By the second time around, Greenstein's smoky tenor picks up the melody, transporting the listener from North Africa straight to New York. That dance between worlds begins and carries all through the album.

“Up To You” comes next, presenting the sound of the full quintet on a modern jazz-samba rhythm. Flute and tenor play in unison, octaves and fourths over the percussive trio. Solos from tenor, piano, and flute build up the energy as the band grooves with constant syncopation.

“Work Ethic” is the joker of the album - an ambitious and technical Spanish-sounding tune, written by Meron only a few weeks before the scheduled recording. Nonetheless, believing that with risk comes the reward, the flute-led quartet picks up the challenge and delivers a powerful performance with Kriss and Meron trading solos, leading up to an explosive drum solo by Whitfield Jr.

Uniquely, when Meron performed “Work Ethic” for a live audience at Brooklyn’s Ornithology Jazz Club this past April, he confessed to the crowd of his second set that he would be playing the tune twice, having already played it during his first. “That to me is what the song is all about,” Meron said. “Trying to execute what we hear in our imagination.” That moment alone captures the spirit of Daniel Meron’s artistry as both a performer and composer—he seeks moments of tension and finds thrill in overcoming them.

“I want listeners to feel warmth, excitement, and the richness or the potential of how rich life can be.” When asked how he might hope listeners respond to "Pendulum," Meron is wistful: “I want their imaginations to be provoked.”


    Marzuk (6:42)
    Up To You (6:05)
    Work Ethic (6:57)
    Night Ride (5:57)
    Pendulum (7:59)
    A Calling (7:03)
    Eucalyptus Grove (4:37)
    Homecoming (5:35)
    Parting (1:16)
    Cyborg (6:37)