Israel-born/Boston-based pianist/composer Gilad Barkan's efforts on his debut Modulation (New Step, 2003), and his guitarist, Izzi Rosen's Dark Beauty (New Step, 2003) were among the best of that year.Barkan's Live Sessions, a two-disc, live-in-studio recording by Boston's WGBH, differs by degree. While Barkan wrote intriguing originals on earlier releases, he was very clearly linked to players including Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. He left room for two jazz standards on Modulation--Evans' Waltz for Debby" and Hancock's Dolphin Dance." In addition to his dazzling technique, Barkan has appeared with Rosen as well as bassist Dan Greenspan and ...read more
Live Sessions, Israeli-born Boston-based pianist Gilad Barkan's second release, features him in two different settings. The first was recorded in June 2004 with bassist Dan Greenspan and Either/Orchestra drummer Harvey Wirht--the same trio from his debut, Modulations (New Step Music, 2004)--with the second taken from a May 2006 performance with Wirht, fellow Israeli flautist Amir Milstein and master bassist John Lockwood. Both sessions were recorded for Boston's WGBH radio station and present Barkan as a mature and original composer and player.
The first disc shows Barkan as a nuanced and lyrical player, and as a leader ...read more
Boston-based pianist Gilad Barkan flew onto the jazz radar screen with a couple of simultaneously-released discs: guitartist Issi Rosen's Dark Beauty (New Step Music, 2003); and his own Modulation (New Step Music, 2003). Barkan teamed with drummer Harvey Wirht, of Either/Orchestra fame on both discs, and with bassist Dan Greenspan on Modulation. The trio's sound had a bright and gregarious forward momentum on both of those CDs. Bassist Greenspan's Modulation work was always in the pocket, and I thought Barkan and Wirht complimented each other marvelously--the pianist's sparkling percussive touch versus Wirht's busy, off-center, full-of-surprises punctuation.Wirht and Greenspan ...read more
Consider the gazillion jazz piano trio recordings available to the unsuspecting public and the time and effort it takes to breakthrough as a major pianist/composer. My first listen to the debut recording by this Bostonian (by way of Israel) made me think very much of the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio per the intensity and interaction of the three players. So, my first impression was dazzlement by the playing and compositions of Barkan and Company.
I crept up to my changer for a second, more objective, analysis. Barkan wrote all but four of the eleven tunes here, and ...read more
The next time you're hunkered down in a hotel lounge and you encounter a solo pianist working through some of the requisite covers of standards and pop songs, do yourself a favor and strike up a conversation with the working musician, and drop a dollar or five in the tip jar. Odds are they're in a get-the-rent-paid mode, and their talent has far more depth and breadth than is readily apparent from the expected, ususally bland fare of the lounge venue. You can bet on this, because Gilad Barkan, the young pianist originally from Israel, educated here at Berklee, has ...read more