Saturday, June 01, 2013

Gilad Hekselman - NYC Jazz Record

Gilad Hekselman
This Just In

Guitarist Gilad Hekselman pulls out all the stops for
this multi-layered project. With assistance from bassist
Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore, Hekselman
has created a propulsive band sound that is interspersed
with galactic interstitials to help mold a long-form
statement. As the title implies, Hekselman is dictating
the news, aiming for the here and now, but his
technique is ageless, precise and unique and pleasantly
unafraid to get a little dirty when necessary.

Saxophonist Mark Turner joins the trio for three
tunes including the title track. The band quickly segues
from synthetic noodling into a spacious, bass-driven
vibe, which eventually makes way for Hekselman’s
jagged edge, punctuating his lithe lines with a rough
strum. Turner jumps into float over the roiling band,
effortlessly moving through the horn’s register.
“March of the Sad” is a trio tune haunted by the
ghosts of a gently prodding second-line feel.
Hekselman stretches out, riding over Martin’s sturdy
bassline. The guitarist’s sound arrives so simply yet
assuredly and he displays a great willingness to relax
yet still maintain a sense of motion.

Hekselman indulges Don Grolnick’s standard
“Nothing Personal” with a creeping apprehension.
Turner offers short fleet-fingered runs through the
slow-moving tune, interspersed with the leader’s
simmering retorts. Gilmore offers up a solo of his own
that hums with an equally contained ferocity. The other
non-original, the Alan Parsons Project’s radio hit “Eye
in the Sky”, moves at a modest pace, making for a
surprisingly comfortable jazz interpretation. Martin’s
syncopated backdrop combined with Gilmore’s
controlled cymbal creates a perfect launching pad for
Hekselman’s journey.

Hekselman has an appealing buzz to his sound
and this polished product is just the right balance of
production and spontaneity. He can think fast but can
also compose a complex idea, evident in the brief
closing track “This Just Out”. The band jumps through
jagged hoops while maintaining a propulsive groove.
This is a confident statement from an agile six-stringer.

Gilad Hekselman @ NYC Jazz Record

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