Gilad Barkan: Modulation (2003)
A couple of degrees of separation come into play for me: Harvey Wirht's name on the cover is the reason I picked the CD up from a pile. Wirht holds down the drummer's seat for the marvelous and underappreciated ten piece Either/Orchestra, and I'm finding anything with his contribution is worth a listen. Another degree: Wirht, as well as pianist Barkan, played on the new (to me) guitarist Issi Rosen's marvelous new CD, Dark Beauty, (New Step Music, 2003).
On Moduation Barkan has put together a set a engaging tunes – seven of his own compositions, plus classics by Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, Ellington and Van Heusen and Cahn, for a piano trio outing that is a gripping musical experience from start to finish.
Barkan's style leans toward the percussive end of things, with bright overtones and an always assertive rhythmic drive. His bossa nova-ish "Amaravati Devi is Getting Married" explores conflicting but predominantly positive emotions, with a lovely, wandering melody line; and he tackles Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance" with pensive aplomb before he moves into near-sacred territory – Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby" – that in Barkan's hands is mostly reverent, but also loose and free swinging; a great song in great hands with these three players.
A fine debut, a trio outing that holds your interest and then some from start to finish.
Visit New Step Music at www.newstepmusic.com .
Track Listing: Paul's Groove, Brazilian Suite #2, Modulation, All My Tomorrows, Affection, Amaravati Devi is Getting Married, Dolphin Dance, Waltz for Debby, Carnaval, Caravan, This is Love
Personnel: Gilad Barkan--piano; Dan Greespan--bass; Harvey Wirht--drums
Record Label: New Step Music