The "heir apparent" concept does not exist in jazz. Younger artists seeking status and respect must earn it through the rigors of performing and creating music through their own voice and merit. While the talented Israeli-born New York-based guitarist Gilad Hekselman's skill has been likened to Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkel, he's doing just that with impressive worktours, dates and a number of fine recordings such as 2013's This Just In (Jazz Village).
His release as leader, Homes, finds him in excellent form. This time it's strictly a trio format with drummer Marcus Gilmore and bassist Joe Martin who were a part of Hekselman's previous date. With the exception of one track the recording has more of an acoustic sound with the guitarist eschewing the use of electronic effects. But as Hekselman has shown in times past, his trio can provide wizardry without technology through its sheer feats of dexterity, spacious and inventive solos and each player's musicianship as jazz artists.
These musical "homes" are based on a suite which span a variety of moods with the dominant one, as Hekselman describes, as being a feeling of great tenderness. There are African influences wired into a unique rendition of Pat Metheny's iconic piece "Last Train Home" and "KeeDee" where Gilmore's exceptional drumming and the tune's rhythmic pattern are based on the central drum used by people from southern Ghana and Togo. Brazil flavorings surface in "Samba em Preludio" and there's Hekselman 's lovely solo acoustic guitar piece in "Home E-minor."
Other standouts include a swinging cover of Bud Powell's "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Space" where the guitarist uses just the right amount of cosmic sound effects to enhance the tune's azure-toned atmosphere. Other than a lull in pacing at the program's later end, Homes is yet another fine recording by Hekselman , proving once again that he has what it takes to carve out his name in jazz.
Track Listing: Homes; Verona; KeeDee; Home E-minor; Space; Cosmic Patience; Eyes to See; Parisian Thoroughfare;
Samba em Prelúdio; Last Train Home; Dove Song; Place Like No Home.
Personnel: Gilad Hekselman: acoustic and electric guitar; Marcus Gilmore: drummer; Joe Martin: bass.
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