Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yotam Silberstein: Resonance

JLP Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 10.07.10
Buy CD: Resonance

Guitarist Yotam Silberstein was born and raised in Israel. He began to play at an early age, and was accepted to the prestigious Alon High School for the Arts.

He resumed his studies after serving three years in the Israeli army and, at 21, won the Israeli Jazz Player of the year Award, along with his trio. He received a scholarship to New York City's New School in 2005, and was one of 10 musicians in the semi-finals of the Thelonious Monk Guitar Competition.

Only two years later, Silberstein was performing with high-caliber jazz artists.

Many musicians who develop their skills outside of the United States demonstrate imposing control of their instruments, and Silberstein is no exception. Incorrect notes, sloppy timing and awkward phrasing just don't happen.

That may be credited to early training in the classics and/or attendance at specialized schooling, which begins early and often involves college and advanced degrees. Whatever the reason, he plays impeccably.

Another characteristic of highly trained musicians is their tendency to play a tune at a faster tempo than it was originally conceived. This album's opener, a version of Dizzy Gillespie's “Two Base Hit,” is a sizzling example; it really moves!

Silberstein is comfortable with every genre and tempo. His basic side group consists of piano, bass and drums; trumpeter Roy Hargrove also guests on two tracks here.

And Christian McBride's presence on bass is the cherry on top of this swinging sundae.

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