Here's a guy that keeps with the jazz groove and sounds, but adds some exciting new ideas along the way. Amit Friedman plays tenor, soprano and flute, and teams up with a band that sounds fairly normal, with a pianist (Omri Mor), bassist (Gilad Abro), drummer (Amir Bresler) and percussionist (Rony Iwryn), but stirs the pot a bit with the addition of Amos Hoffman, who includes the guitar and oud, the Middle Eastern acoustic guitar. The mix of modern jazz with Mediterranean exoticism works remarkably well, and with occasional strings thrown in once in awhile, you?re in for a treat. He's got chops as well, as he demonstrates on "Optimism" but it's the gracious lyricism on "Ups & Downs" and "Or" that will keep you coming back. Quite alluring!