So last Tuesday I went for a run and the music that I chose for the run was a progressive rock album Desert Butterflies by Yossi Sassi. I chose the album because the album cover looked interesting as well as Yossi’s name! After completing the run, which was actually a bit of a struggle, and enjoying the album, I discovered that Yossi is an acclaimed Israeli guitarist, with over 20 years experience as a producer, composer and arranger. He is also a founding member of the progressive metal band Orphaned Land.
In 2012 he released his first solo album an eclectic concept album, Melting Clocks. Based on this album Yossi was voted “Top Newcomer of 2012 by the readers of Rock Hard magazine. Sassi’s music blends Eastern music with west rock with folk and traditional acoustic instruments with electric guitar.He even created the Bouzoukitara.
The instrument combines the electric guitar with the acoustic Bouzouki. Oh and Yossi also plays 17 different types of guitars and traditional instruments. He has shared the stage with a variety of artists like Metallica, Marty .Friedman, Steven Wilson, Dave Lombardo, Ron ‘bumblefoot’ Thal (G’n’R) and many others.
While Yossi’s music blends east and west, Yossi is also a strong believer in ‘The power of music to unite people’, by bridging cultural differences and national strife. As an example the Israeli Sassi’s Orphaned Land has a large Muslim following in the Arab world, that appreciate the band’s ability to produce and create authentic and respectful oriental music in spite of personal perils they might be exposed to in their homelands You can watch his TED talk on that topic here. Yossi has been awarded four (4) peace and friendship awards from cities and governments
After listening to Melting Clocks this morning, I’d say that the predominately instrumental Desert Butterflies has more of a folk edge than hard rock . Desert Butterflies was recorded in 4 countries and on three continents, musicians also appearing on the album include Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (GUNS N’ ROSES), Marty Friedman (ex-MEGADETH), Mariangela Demurtas (TRISTANIA) and more. While I like the album as a whole every time I listen to it, my ears perk up a little more when “Desert Butterfly” and “Azul” come on!! Here are some quotes about Yossi’s music from his website….
“Such a joy to live and communicate with others through music is rare… the positive energy generated by this man is infectious!” – Auxportes Du Metal
“Beautiful music for carefree hours, highly recommended!” – My Revelations
“Simply a DIAMOND DISC which musicians everywhere should have in their record collection! Without doubt this year’s Top 5 for me!” – Greek Rebels
So the bottom line is check out Yossi and his music!