(via Jazz, Israeli style, sweeps into Chicago - chicagotribune.com)
“…The band struck hard from the outset in Hekselman’s “March of the Sad,” from his newly released album “This Just In.” As soloist, Hekselman crafted beautifully sculpted phrases with nary an extraneous note or gesture. As bandleader, he encouraged free-wheeling interchange, bassist Martin and drummer Davis pushing and pulling the music in directions that suited them. The intimacy with which these three players shared a rhythmic pulse would have been impressive even if you didn’t know that Davis was filling in for Gilmore.
It takes a brave soul to play as softly, simply and gently as Hekselman did in a samba by Brazilian guitarist-composer Baden Powell (could the Green Mill bar-tenders please cut back on the ka-ching of cash registers when the music is at a whisper?). Here Hekselman spun sinuous phrases, with bassist Martin offering plush counterpoint down low in his instrument and drummer Davis producing soft, shimmering colors with mallets. Pure poetry…
Not as intense as John Scofield or as harmonically innovative as Kurt Rosenwinkel (who is?), Hekselman nevertheless stands as an increasingly noteworthy figure in jazz guitar…
The Gilad Hekselman Trio plays 7 p.m. Tuesday at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 N. Broadway; $10; 773-281-1423 or ansheemet.org.”
SFJAZZ also presents Ahmad Jamal on June 13!
“He performs for us at Davies Symphony Hall with a seamless quartet whose grooving sound is flavored by the New Orleans style of drummer Herlin Riley and bassist Reginald Veal and the polyrhythmic pop of Puerto Rican-born percussionist Manolo Badrena.”
Hear Blue Moon on iTunes.
(via Gilad Hekselman | Green Mill | Jazz | Chicago Reader)
Guitarist Gilad Hekselman
, making his Chicago debut as part of this week’s Israeli Jazz Festival, represents the leading edge of mainstream jazz, with dazzling chops, inexhaustible melodic imagination, total mastery of harmony, and deep knowledge of jazz history. Since moving to New York from Israel in 2004, he’s worked with the likes of Ari Hoenig and Anat Cohen, but it’s with his own group—bassist Joe Martin, drummer Marcus Gilmore, and often tenor saxophonist Mark Turner—that he shines brightest, extending a lineage established by Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkel. On the recent This Just In
(Jazz Village) he interrupts his elegant original compositions…with jagged little improvisations, each titled “Newsflash” in a somewhat flimsy analogy to breaking TV news, but he never loses the narrative flow of the album as a whole. His solos are consistently and gorgeously lyrical, and no matter how hard he digs into his harmonic explorations, they feel like feather strokes…”
Valdes’ every dancing intro, incisive fill and storming chordal eruption on piano is always irresistable, and his solo opener on the breathless Congadanza is a nine-minute exposition of exactly why he remains one of jazz piano’s most majestic virtuosos.
(via Kyle Eastwood, Larry Coryell and Sons - A Magical Guitar Night at The Blue Note | GuitarInternational.com)
“…Eastwood’s band at The Blue Note was tight, top-notch and obviously loving playing together. Eastwood’s playing is strong and supple, featuring a wide vibrato that almost makes him sound like he’s playing a fretless instrument at times—shades of David Sylvian and Japan…
Debra Devi: Can you tell me about the Gibson bass you designed?
Kyle Eastwood: It’s not really a Gibson per se, it was designed by Bunny Brunel and myself and a guy at the Gibson Custom shop made five or six prototypes, two of which I kept and customized some more myself. It’s still the bass I use – I shaped the neck so it’s skinnier under the higher strings and it’s just balanced ergonomically the way I like. I try a lot of other basses but never seem to find one I like quite as well…
Debra: How did you get into African influences?
Kyle Eastwood: I’ve been exposed to a lot of African music living in France and I did some research into South African music when I was writing music for the film Invictus. And living in France I’ve had the chance to travel a lot through North Africa. There are also a lot of Senegalese musicians in France – I haven’t been to Senegal but I’ve gotten to hear a lot of Senegalese music…
Debra: Any jazz influences that come to mind for this album?
Kyle Eastwood: I’m drawn to Charles Mingus and other jazz payers from the fifties and sixties. He’s a great role model for me as a bassist who was also a bandleader and composer. Art Blakely’s groups, too, from the late fifties, early sixties I’ve always liked that sound, and writing for a group with two horns, like mine. Without having to actually travel around with a big band! [laughs]
I grew up listening to sixties and seventies funk and really digging it. That’s the stuff that made me want to pick up the bass. I started teaching myself those songs…”
(via Kyle Eastwood, The Concorde Club (From Daily Echo))
“…It was fitting that he should have kicked off his nationwide tour at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club.
…He demonstrated great technical prowess as he switched effortlessly from double to electric bass. Although very much the star, he modestly allows his musicians to showcase their array of talents. There were some superb solo contributions from Andrew McCormack (piano) Graeme Blevins (tenor saxophone) Quentin Collins (trumpet) and Chris Higginbottom (drums) And the Concorde audience were taken on a journey which has inspired Eastwood’s compositions, stopping off at Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Morocco.
…After two sets Kyle and his band were deservedly given a standing ovation”