The more I play it, the more I want to play it. Hekselman’s insight into how variety can be distributed gives a cinematic flow to the 12-track program. The Powell to Powell transition is heavenly.
Even before Homes, Martin and Gilmore erected suitably innovative frames for Hekselman’s remarkably efficient virtuosity. The absence of a horn, and a couple more years of experience, have raised the trio’s intimacy and expertise another notch.
No longer in the shadow of Pat Metheny, where he’s often put by those who don’t listen closely, this is a dandy modern jazz guitar date that might wander all over the lot but never meanders on it’s way.
Hekselman does a great line in teasing the listener with a familiar phrase then leading us away by the ears to somewhere unexpected before slipping us the phrase again to remind us to come home. At one point there was a short fast passage which to my ears could have been Bach.
The guitarist Gilad Hekselman has a vision of modern jazz that’s harmonically fluent but not averse to simple melody or gentle, approachable effect.
The guitarist’s fall 2015 release is a masterful collection of original songs, free improvisations and an homage to Israeli songwriting master Matti Caspi.
It is obvious to me that Hekselman is one of the most intelligent, quietly accomplished guitarists I could hope to listen to. He breathes life into his music through his incomparable skill and devotion.
There’s a pleasantly unassuming disposition to this album. No one track gets right up in your face, keeping more to a rainy day ambiance that lets the music drift on in and settle in slowly. This passivity, though, shouldn’t be mistaken for insubstantiality, because though the music’s strength is subtly exercised, it carries far and wide, and it doesn’t erode with the time of repeat listening. Homes will make a nice addition to your library, and pretty much is a must-buy for you jazz guitar fans.
Embodying his spacious sound—a fine balance between his attention to melody and his unique strumming method—Hekselman plays with noise in unique ways, enveloping psychedelic elements with changes to the musical themes. In the context of the Hex Trio, this is taken deeper as each player enters with a counterpoint of his own to create a masterful web.
References to Pat Metheny, which Hekselman’s music has drawn in the past, are not unwarranted; writing songish tunes, he has a sim- ilar sneaky line, an unexpectedness in his timing and closely related tone. But he’s not a copycat by any means...
At last, here is a recording which unashamedly wears mood on its sleeve and coat tails.
...it’s in his own compositions, like the stretched-out “Cosmic Patience”, where he really shows his amazing skills. And with pieces like “Verona” or “Eyes To See”, he also shows immense capabilities as a composer. This is one of the better guitar albums of the year.