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Yossi Sassi

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Yossi Sassi Roots and Roads album cover
3.69 | 24 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wings
2. Palm Dance
3. Root Out
4. Mr. NoSoul
5. Madame TwoSouls
6. The Religion Of Music
7. Winter
8. Thundercloud
9. Road Less Traveled
10. Rizes Kai Dromoi
11. Bird Without A Tree
12. Stronger Than Ever

Bonus Tracks on 2016 Limited Edition:
13. The Explorientals
14. Madame On Steroids
15. Quarter to Rizes

Line-up / Musicians

- Yossi Sassi / Vocals, Guitars (Electric, Nylon-String, Acoustic, 7-Strings), Bouzoukitara, Bouzouki, Charango, Oud, Saz, Chumbush, Keyboards on "Madame TwoSouls", "Road Less
- Or Lubianiker / Electric Bass
- Shay Ifrah / Drums
- Ben Azar / Guitar solos 2 and 3 on "Palm Dance", Electric Guitar on "The Explorientals"
- Sapir Fox / Vocals ("Road Less Traveled", "Bird Without A Tree", choir on "Wings")
- Roei Fridman / Percussion

Guest musicians:
- Zaher Zorgati / Vocals on "The Religion Of Music"
- Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal / Guitar solos 1 and 4 on "Palm Dance"
- Diana Golbi / Vocals on "Root Out"
- Roy Zu-arets / Piano
- Yoav Efron / Keyboards on "Wings", "Rizes Kai Dromoi", "The Religion Of Music", "Thundercloud"
- Bob Katsionis / Hammond and additional keyboards on "Rizes Kai Dromoi"
- Ariel Qassis / Kanun
- Daniel Hoffman / Violins
- Itzhak Ventura / Arabic, Turkish and Persian Ney
- Danielle Sassi / Flute
- Yankale Segal / Fretless Bass on "Bird without a tree"
- Assaf Perelmuter / Lap steel, Diddley bow
- Harel Shachal / Clarinet
- Dan Piloni Kark, Jonathan Jacobi, Liron Schaffer / Choiron "Wing"

Releases information

Self released on May 25th, 2016

Album available at Bandcamp (CD & download)

Thanks to black_diamond for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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YOSSI SASSI Roots and Roads ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

YOSSI SASSI Roots and Roads reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars YOSSI SASSI may be better known as the founder of Israel's premier metal fusion band Orphaned Land which has been active since the early 90s, but since 2011 he has also launched his own solo career and in the process has incorporated a whole army of musicians that he wrested out of their respective genres to create a larger than life sound that blends progressive rock and metal with traditional Israeli folk music. In addition to his musical contributions to the world and his never ending goal of promoting peace in the Middle East, he is also the inventor of the "Bouzoukitara" which is basically a combination of the Greek Bouzouki and electric guitar that allows him to mix and meld the two sounds in a more efficient manner. ROOTS AND ROADS is his third solo offering with this one going under the YOSSI SASSI BAND moniker.

The band consists of six members that contribute a huge wealth of musical instruments which not only include the usual rock guitars, bass, keys and drums but the newly formed Bouzouikitara, traditional Bouzouki, charango, oud, sax and chumbush as well. In addition we have no less than 14 guest musicians contributing piano, Hammond keys, kanun, violins, ney (Arabic, Turkish and Persian varieties), flute, fretless bass, lap steel guitar, Diddley bow, clarinet and something called a Choiron "Wing." If that wasn't enough we also get a sizzling guitar solo contribution from Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal on "Palm Dance." All of these characters in this musical script all add up to one big fat rich sounding album that is exquisitely played and extraordinarily produced as to allow all the competing sounds to exist in harmony instead of a barbaric cacophonous manner.

My first impression of this is that it is very much in the vein of other Middle Eastern progressive metal fusionists such as Myrath as the rhythms, harmonies and musical scales are heavily steeped in desert lore and conjure up images of camels traversing mirage ridden sand dunes on silken road journeys but this goes far beyond Myrath in the ethnic department. As with almost all Middle Eastern music, YOSSI SASSI focuses the energetic drive first and foremost on the percussive rhythms with the melodies carrying a near equal secondary weight. Unlike bands like Orphaned Land and Myrath, the YOSSI SASSI BAND use metal as only one color on their painter's palette and it is by no means ubiquitous in the album's sound or feel although it's included on most tracks when the energetic drive needs to be lifted to a new level for contrast's sake. There is a lot more detail paid to the ethnic instruments while the metal often chugga chugs as a rhythmic intensifier.

While described as progressive rock / metal, there aren't a lot of bizarre proggy freak outs with time sig changes run amok nor heavy reliance on dissonance. This music has a very accessible sound being instantly addictive and as seductive as the tales of Scheherezade. This is simply a must for lover's of Middle Eastern ethnic music mixed with Western elements. With this many musical members on board there always exists the risk of too many chefs in the kitchen stumbling over one another thus ruining the perfect smorgasbord of ideas, but in the case of ROOTS AND ROADS, a competent band leader puts on his conductor's hat and ekes out all the possibilities at the right times when needed and creates a beautiful parade of alternating softer and heavier passages. While i can't say this is the absolute most original music by mixing these styles as its been done a few times before, i can say that this is a very pleasant display of East meets West fusion where both worlds have plenty of time to play together to create an exhilarating new take on it. Personally i like SASSI's solo stuff over Orphaned Land. Unlike, say, bands like Secret Chiefs 3 that successfully fused Middle Eastern music with Western, YOSSI SASSI is actually from that region having been born and raised in Israel. This is the real deal. Very cool album.

Review by aapatsos
3 stars Rizes kai Dromoi...

The title track (direct translation of "Roots and Roads" to Greek) shows that Yossi is on a slightly different trajectory. First, the name is now Yossi Sassi Band, potentially showing a more inclusive approach to songwriting (?). Essentially, the core of the band has remained the same since 2012 and solo debut ''Melting Clocks'' but the fusion of influences has slightly changed.

In his third album, Yossi seems to balance out Greek, Asia Minor and Near-eastern tradition with heavier sounds closer to progressive metal (and not surprisingly, at times resembling to Orphaned Land), abandoning the more virtuoso playing and jazzy passages for the sake of something more ''traditional'' and it works. Although not boasting of numerous time signatures and chopping riffs, ''Roots and Roads'' appears as Yossi's most experimental and varied work, even if rooted in what many call "oriental" rock. Here we find traditional Greek zeimpekiko ('Rizes kai Dromoi'), mediterranean folk (Wings, Mr. NoSoul, Bird Without a Tree), middle-eastern experimental progressive metal ('Palm Dance', 'The Religion of Music') and even references to Opeth in the suprise closing 'Stronger than Ever'.

Tracks such as the instrumental 8-minute monster 'Winter' sum up the quality of this album, proving the turn to more progressive song structures. 'The Religion of Music' reminded me of Jorn Lande and the years of Ark, and 'Road Less Traveled' features beautiful female vocals on galopping riffs and a travelling mood.

Warmly recommended - 3.5 stars which might become 4 after a few more listens.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Israeli composer and musician Yossi SASSI is probably best known for being a founding member of Israeli progressive metal band Orphaned Land, but he's also a veteran contributor in the Israeli music circuit as a musician, composer and producer in his own right. In 2012 he started a solo career with the launch of the album "Melting Clocks". Two more albums have followed since. "Roots and Roads" is the most recent of these, and was self-released in 2016 under the moniker Yossi Sassi Band.

With "Roots and Roads" Yossi Sassi Band has created an intriguing album of music where the focus appears to be to continue his path of incorporating Israeli and Middle East folk music details with contemporary rock and metal, sometimes progressive and sometimes not as much. Those who tend to get intrigued by what people from a western cultural background would describe as exotic world music used to expand the borders of contemporary rock and metal, progressive or otherwise, should take note of this CD, as well as Sassi's previous excursions as a solo artist.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Yossi's 2016 release was credited to a band as opposed to just solo, but apart from singer Sapir Fox, all musicians in the Yossi Sassi Band were all key core members of the previous 2014 release, 'Desert Butterflies'. In many ways this is a direct continuation from the previous album, but in plenty of others it is quite different. Firstly, there are far more songs with lyrics on this album as compared to the previous one, and the roots, Middle Eastern and Israeli influences are much more to the fore. Opener 'Wings' starts gently enough, with plenty of bouzouki, but soon becomes very Jewish in its approach, and this move away from Western culture is quite evident.

The album also features the instrument invented by Yossi, the Bouzoukitara, which is a double-neck instrument, combining acoustic guitar, electric guitar and an acoustic/electric bouzouki! The double-neck instrument has a shared surface, so when one guitar is played it resonates to the open strings of the other guitar, thus allows Yossi to produce some unique sound layers, for example when playing the Electric guitar while recording the Bouzouki going through a Pre-amp or overdrive, capturing the sympathetic harmonies & over-tones it generates.

Songs such as 'Roads Less Travelled' features an introduction of acoustic instruments being with some emotional electric guitar, before the band becomes far more rock-based and Sapir takes the lead, but there are plenty of influences also changing the Western experience into something quite different. By the time of recording the band had played plenty of gigs, and there is a confidence here in all they do, as they continue to blend influences so the listener never knows quite what to expect, except that it will most definitely be worth listening to. When he wants to rock, then they do, but when they need to be more reflective, then they are also very much at home. Fluid, exciting, enjoyable, yet another album well worth discovering.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Review # 30. Yossi Sassi was the lead guitarist and founding member of the Israelian Progressive Metal band Orphaned Land, and that was something that I knew of. What I didn't know is that for some years now he has been following a solo career, and he released 3 studio albums so far, with 'Ro ... (read more)

Report this review (#1597927) | Posted by The Jester | Monday, August 15, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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