Yotam Silberstein began playing guitar when he was 10. His first interests were rock and pop, but five years later he began studying jazz. After he finished high school in Tel Aviv, Silberstein moved to New York City. He continued pursuing jazz and, over the years, has played with Kenny Barron, Avishai Cohen, Roy Hargrove and John Faddis among others. Silberstein made his recording debut with The Arrival (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2004).
Here, Silberstein finds a comfortable niche in mainstream jazz. He has locked into the vocabulary with a well-timed sense of rhythm. His playing is persuasive, his notes eloquent and juicy enough to essay time signatures and shape the music tastefully.
"Borsht" serves up swing. Silberstein keeps the tempo in constant shift, accenting on his single note runs, his chords the shadow of his ruminations. It is a salivating start to the program that is made all the more ripe by Sam Yahel, whose legato lines on the organ stimulate the drive.
Chris Cheek plays with a deep sense of belonging on his solo spots. One of the most effective comes on the ballad "Weekend in Mizpe," which basks in the glow of his tenor. Silberstein sets up a seamless tangent, biting down and then letting loose a flurry of notes. The parallels between him and Cheek are obtuse, yet convincing.
The hard bop of "Cheryl" sees the band is in its element, never faltering in the blistering pace it sets up. The three-way conversations between Silberstein, Cheek and Yahel are heady as they trade riffs and ideas. Willie Jones III is a crackling rhythm machine, the final cog in a well-oiled machine.
A solid performance from the band, and a mark for Silberstein on his continuing journey.
Track Listing: Borsht; Foolin' Myself; Ani Eshtagea; Cancao; Blues for 007; Weekend
in Mizpe; If I Would Leave You; Jalastra; Ligia; Cheryl.
Personnel: Yotam Silberstein: guitar; Sam Yahel: organ; Willie Jones III: drums;
Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone (2, 4, 6, 8, 10).
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