All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

1

Gilad Hekselman at the Cornelia Street Café

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
Gilad Hekselman with Ben Williams and Billy Hart
Cornelia Street Café
Hekselfest
Greenwich Village, NYC
August 10, 2017

As part of a week-long residency at Greenwich Village's Cornelia Street Café, guitarist Gilad Hekselman convened something of a dream band for his Thursday night performance when he shared the stage with bassist Ben Williams and drummer Billy Hart. Although Hekselman had played with them separately in other contexts, this was the first time they'd done so as a trio, and the results were extraordinary.

All three musicians possess enough strengths to fill Cornelia's narrow basement on their own terms. Hekselman's resonant intonations, at once floating and rooted, pay reverence to melody, structure, and phrasing. Williams, as a deeply rhythmic improviser, lends tactile strength to everything he touches. Hart, for his part, confirms his legendary status wherever he plays, drawing out decades of experience from the simplest hit of the kit. Impressive about this combination was its equilateral distribution of expression, particularly evident in "Body and Soul" and "Georgia On My Mind." The first was a patient, fair-weather welcoming, while the last spun a bluesy drift of tender quality. The restraint displayed throughout, along with the occasional groove, made sure that listeners felt engaged at all moments.

Such maturity is refreshing in so young a jazz guitarist, and boded well for a dynamic "Take the Coltrane," which felt like a prime lesson in geometry sandwiched between algebraic proofs. Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes" was memorable for Hart's interdisciplinary flourishes, and for the tenderness singing through both sets of strings around him. In Thelonious Monk's "Let's Cool One," the trio ramped up the optimism. Behind Hekselman's chromatic brilliance, Hart's drumming was sunshine incarnate, while Williams fed off the audience's palpable appreciation in his soloing. All the while, the unassuming bandleader smiled his way through characteristic swells of nostalgia—some of which cut like a blade, others of which salved the wounds left in their wake—so that one came away with nothing but warmth ringing in the ears.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Catching Up With
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Homes

Homes

Jazz Village
2016

buy
Homes

Homes

Jazz Village
2015

buy
This Just In

This Just In

Jazz Village
2013

buy
 

Hearts Wide Open

Le Chant du Monde
2012

buy
Hearts Wide Open

Hearts Wide Open

Jazz Village
2011

buy
SplitLife

SplitLife

Smalls Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at Central Park SummerStage Live Reviews
Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at...
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018
Read Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong Live Reviews
Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong
by Rob Garratt
Published: June 11, 2018
Read Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art Live Reviews
Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar Live Reviews
Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "Rigas Ritmi 2017" Live Reviews Rigas Ritmi 2017
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Kurrent Duo at The Bop Stop" Live Reviews Kurrent Duo at The Bop Stop
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "WAR with Malo At Stern Grove" Live Reviews WAR with Malo At Stern Grove
by Walter Atkins
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017" Live Reviews Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash" Live Reviews Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's" Live Reviews Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: September 26, 2017