The feeling in a small club quickly grows intense when GILAD HEKSELMAN, an Israeli jazz guitarist in his mid-20s, steps up to improvise. Since arriving in New York five years ago, Mr. Hekselman has set himself roughly up in the line of Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkel, with a warm and clean guitar tone, clear articulation, crazily extended improvisational ideas...
... possessing a distinctive lyricism and easily embraceable artfulness that seems to reach beyond his years... Hekselman has a pristine, crystalline sound and a bright playing style that seems as natural and sustaining as air and water... Imagine a brightly lit day, sunlight on water - you are there. If Monet’s waterlily studies were music this could be it... with a quiet assertiveness and expertise that is winning throughout...
The debut recording by guitarist Gilad Hekselman has the youth displaying a mature sound, the ability to think fast, and an inventive use of space.
...Mr. Hekselman, playing complex chords with extended harmony — the higher science of jazz academia, but done with passion — moved his solo toward a peak. About two minutes in, the audience began yelling.
JAZZMAN (FRANCE)France’s primary jazz magazine JazzMan has singled him out as “a leader and one of the best representatives of a talented generation of Israeli artists.”
French journalist Ludovic Florin recently wrote that Gilad is “rhythmically, the most gifted guitarist of the century.”
...Gilad Hekselman’s SplitLife (Smalls Records) is everything one could hope for in a debut release. The Israeli-born guitarist shows maturity beyond his years...In terms of time feel, technique, tone projection and linear and chordal sophistication, Hekselman is clearly poised to reach the highest ranks on his instrument.
This 30 year old Israeli has no competition amongst the guitarists of his generation.
“With a bright, fluid tone and a deft improvisational hand, young Israeli born guitarist Gilad Hekselman is a rising star on the New York City jazz scene.”
Hekselman is a subtle player who holds the spotlight with tasteful runs. He seeks out transcendental lines and often finds them... Hekselman doesn’t clamor for attention. His playing, though, is quietly persuasive.
NEW YORK TIMESMr. Hekselman is a guitarist who favors a clarity of tone and purpose, and who surrounds himself with strong talent.
He has emerged from a crowded field of six-string slingers to be hailed as a signficant voice in the next generation of jazz guitarists.