Lemon Juice Quartet is comprised of Eyal Moaz from Israel on guitar, Avishai Cohen, trumpet,Shamir Blumenkranz on acoustic bass, and Kevin Zubek.

Whimsical, unruly, and possessed of devastating chops, the Lemon Juice Quartet simply refuse to behave themselves. Originating in Israel in 1993, the group relocated to New York in 1998, becoming part of the wildly eclectic Avant-Garde Downtown scene. Like many groups of the New York Downtown, the Lemon Juice Quartet loves improvisation, unusual time signatures, and a rich diversity of stylistic influences. Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz's basslines steadily lope through lopsided jazz-funk riffs while Eyal Maoz's guitar, awash in stereo chorus or overlaid with piercing distortion, picks out startling 12-tone melodies. Meanwhile, Avishai Cohen's trumpet bleats, brays, exhorts, or just simply whoops with glee. Each song contains radical shifts in tempo and dynamics. "I'm the King Elephantention" is the Downtown scene's answer to John Philip Sousa; "1221" starts out in 11/8 before rocking you silly. To balance out all the musical mayhem, the Quartet writes catchy, singsong choruses, such as "ROCK," that evoke Dixieland, Salsa and Boogie-Woogie before descending into off-kilter carnival territory. But don't take my word for it... Noah E.


The Lemon Juice Quartet has serious Eclecticity. The term which is not found in most dictionaries is used to describe music that uniquely and successfully displays profound elements of eclecticism and electricity. Their new cd entitled Peasant Songs continues to show that the borders of jazz are global and that it?s roots will continue to thrive in the hands of musicians with vision.

LJQis a New York based jazz quartet founded in 1993 with member roots in Israel. Original members Eyal Maoz on guitar and Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on bass, have seen a few band member changes, but now have a musical core with the addition of Avishai Cohen on trumpet and drummer Kevin Zubek, whom they met at the Berkley College of Music.

The group creates music with a unique fusion of jazz and traditional homeland music, that is both dynamic in its creativity and sound. Hot in the downtown New York jazz scene, they are regulars at the popular Knitting Factory and other area music venues. The quartet has performed at numerous “Radical Jewish Culture” events, including Jewsapalooza, and also at the ? Red Sea International Jazz Festival? in Israel. With a open mentality to musical diversity, they have a global view and contemporary ear for many facets of today?s music. Their new release, Peasant Songs embodies the very essence of their diverseness.

Peasant Songs features music by French composer Erik Satie and Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. The music is reconstructed into a melting pot of other influences such as free jazz, avant-garde, experimental, funk, Jewish folk music, and many other ingredients. The culmination of these many flavors creates a most interesting musical gumbo. With quirky arrangements and odd tempos and rhythms, the music is never sedate. The lead instruments of trumpeter Avishai Cohen and guitarist Eyal Maoz provide fluid and fiery solos, but it?s the precision rhythm machinations of bassist Shanir Blumenkranz and drummer Kevin Zubek that hold it all together. A few of the many highlights include the ultra-hip ?Sports and Leisure? which should be a candidate for one of the ?Funkiest Cuts of the Year? and the solemn composition ?On a Lantern?, with its outstanding trumpet work by Cohen and some really weird and wonderful guitar sounds by Maoz. Highly recommended.



"...this excellent, risk-taking CD is about interpretation.

Is the CD adventurous, creative, and highly rewarding? Absolutely."

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson 5/2002


"Although these performances shed new light on Bartok and Satie, perhaps the highest compliment to pay Peasant Songs is that it's a fine jazz album indeed."

JazzTimes Magazine - Andrew Lindemann Malone 9/2002


“Guitar, trumpet, bass and drums disperse and reassemble in lean, loose grooves that squeeze out carefree humor and rollicking joie de vivre. “

- Downbeat Magazine - Fred Bouchard  10/2002


"The Lemon Juice Quartet is a group of highly talented musicians, with significant command of their instruments."

- JazzImprov Magazine- Winthrop Bedford 9/2002