Yotam Silberstein@The Blue Whale 11.03.17

Yotam Silberstein represents what I call “The New Mainstream” in jazz. As evidenced by his recent release The Village and his swinging set at The Blue Whale Friday night, the guitarist/composer shows allegiance to the tradition of jazz, but with added flavor and directions to keep the feel fresh and vibrant.

And he knows how to select a like minded team, with LA-stationed bopper Josh Nelson/p and Dave Robaire/b with Christian Euman deftly supplying muscular support. For the hour long set, Silberstein displayed his strength at the pen as well as the ax on a thoughtful and deft “Future Memories” that had Euman’s brushes supplying a deft canter as guitar and piano intertwined and intersected while Nelson supplied thoughtful harmonies to Silberstein’s Middle East-tinged solo. The semi-bossa ballad had the composer provide delicate phrasing to Nelson’s elegiac ivories as Robaire’s bass strings  pleaded along side to end the song like the drips of morning dewdrops.

The team produced  on a quicksilver take of “In a Sentimental Mood” that had Euman snapping the drums and hitting the ride cymbal like he was riding the whip on a wagon train and Silverstein bore down on his guitar like he was Justin Verlander on the mound, throwing the heat through his six strings on his rising fast ball of a solo.

Silberstein also showed his allegiance to the Latin side of life. “Milonga Gris” had Nelson swinging out the melody while the closing “Capricho de Espanha”  had Euman’s  galloping Iberian pulse created a relentless undercurrent for  Nelson’s table dance of a solo, with the only thing missing was a red rose between the pianists teeth. Silbestein , provided a sensuous flair on the guitar as his strings clicked like castanets, and the delivery of his notes swaying with a flair like a matador about to make the final kill, bring the evening to a final close.

Music this accessible, yet still exciting, is a rare treat in this day of cacophonous navel gazing.

Upcoming shows at the Blue Whale include Jamire Williams 11/10, Gillian Margot/11/16, and  Daniel Rotem 11/17 Jazzmeia Horn 11/28


Leave a Reply