Gilad Barkan – Live Sessions – New Step Music

by | May 22, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Gilad Barkan – Live Sessions – New Step Music NSM07101, (2 CDs) 48:31, 47:36 **** []:

(Gilad Barkan, piano; Amir Milstein, flute; John Lockwood, bass; Harvey Wirht, drums)

Barkan is a Boston-area pianist who graduated from the Berklee College of Music. These performances were broadcast on WGBH-FM and recorded live at the time. (That was my old station quite a few years ago.) The first of the two CDs comprises piano trio performances, while the second disc is devoted to Barkan’s quartet with the addition of flutist Milstein.

The pianist was born in England and raised in Israel.  All 16 tracks are his originals, and in Coming Home he was thinking of what parts of his native culture he wanted to bring to his new country. In Amaravati Devi he uses the rhythm of a Yemeni dance he did as a child. Though his Brazilian Suite No. 3 sounds suitably Brazilian, it also shows the influence of a singer-songwriter referred to by flutist Milstein as the “Jobim of Israel.” 

Barkan’s style is lyrical and often introspective – never flashy or overly virtuosic.  He draws some lovely sounds out of the grand piano and is well-supported by his drummer and bassist, with whom he has played for some time now.  The tunes are appealing  and original and maintain a closer tie to melody than much original jazz writing today. Fans of jazz flute will especially enjoy the second disc of the set.

TrackList, Disc 1: Untitled, Modulation, Brazilian Suite #3, Affection, Amaravati Devi, Mr. Arnedo, Danilo’s Dance, This Is Love
Disc 2: A Place for my Father, For Sergio, Maya’s Blues, Orr, Not a Samba, Song for Rachel, The Bull and the Lamb, Coming Home.

 – John Henry

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