Take five jazz musicians — studying charts and scales since they were teens — and set them loose in Tel Aviv’s freewheeling music scene, the crossroads where European, Middle Eastern and African styles all swirl together late into the night, every night. Then watch those musicians shed their formal training, and decide to make grooves with one goal in mind: having fun. Welcome to the psychedelic, endlessly funky world of TIGRIS. For keyboardist Roei Hermon and percussionist Oded Aloni, a 2010 trip to Senegal to study West African rhythms was transformative. When the friends returned to Tel Aviv, they nabbed bassist Amir Sadot, guitarist Ilan Smilan and percussionist Itamar Katzir and set up shop in an Ethiopian restaurant. There they began laying down the blueprint for a new sound: bass-heavy riffing, technicolor keyboards and enough live beats to make your head spin. “In our studio, we say: Don’t be Berklee,” laughs Sadot. “If it’s too academic, we’re not deep enough into the groove.” 

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