Yotam Silberstein The Village (jazz&people)
When music lovers think of places known for producing great jazz guitarists, Israel probably isn’t the first one that leaps to mind — but that could be changing. Gilad Hekselman is among the most acclaimed young string-benders in the genre, and with The Village, Yotam Silberstein makes it clear that he, too, should be seen in a similar light.
During the ’00s, Silberstein, like Hekselman, relocated from Israel to New York City; the village saluted in the new album’s urbane title track is Greenwich. But the influences heard throughout this batch of tunes are global in scope, with a particular emphasis on sounds from the southern hemisphere. “Milonga Gris” echoes with the rhythms of Argentina — home of its composer, Carlos “Negro” Aguirre — with Silberstein’s smooth, gliding tone subtly disguising the high degree of difficulty represented by the number’s vibrant melody and fleet tempo. And “Parabens,” the explosive opener; “Nocturno,” a rich and lovely lullaby; and the dizzyingly complex yet winning “O Vôo da mosca,” penned by the late Jacob do Bandolim, sport Brazilian roots that clearly inspire Silberstein and his talented crew: pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.
Spain also gets a shout-out by way of “Albayzin,” a nod to the city of Granada (dedicated to the late Paco de Lucia) that boasts a propulsive sweep. But Silberstein is equally fluent in the international language of jazz — a mode of expression that transcends specific nationalities. “Changes,” for example, puts the players through their paces by way of a frequently shifting arrangement. They navigate it with skill shot through with pure pleasure.
Pleasure is even more evident on the concluding cut, “Lennie Bird,” a Lennie Tristano ditty that turns into a gleeful chase between Silberstein and Goldberg.
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