Tag Archives: CD

Yotam Silberstein: Future Memories

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NYC guitar player Yotam Silberstein has just released a new album called “Future Memories”. Yotam is one of the most remarkable guitar players on the Jazz scene today and he is accompanied by other extraordinary musicians foremost bass player John Patitucci.

The complete line-up is:

  • Yotam Silberstein: guitar, vocals, percussions
  • Vitor Gonçalves: piano, accordion, keyboard, percussions
  • Glenn Zaleski: piano, Fender Rhodes
  • John Patitucci: acoustic and electric bass
  • Daniel Dor: drums, percussions
  • Andre Mehmari: synthesizers

The album has been recorded in January 2018 but it needed the additional help of a crowdfunding project to finance the release of this album.

Officially released on March 1, 2019 the album contains mostly original music from Yotam Silberstein which he has been playing on tours around the world for the last couple of years. He is traveling constantly and during his travels he is also studying a lot of music, mostly the music of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, and north Africa. These influences combined with his knowledge of Jazz, Blues, Israeli and Arabic music (Yotam grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel) has merged into something very unique.

The album starts with the title song “Future Memories”, softly and relaxed with a very simple melody, the solo from Yotam Silberstein also feels very open, unintrusive but intensive at the same time, especially Daniel Dor on drums adds the extra push.  In the long outro of the song we hear Vitor Gonçalves on accordion, which gives the song the special musette feeling, all very sophisticated.

The album continues with “Matcha” a fast and pushy contemporary Jazz tune. Great solos by Yotam Silberstein, Glenn Zaleski on piano and Daniel Dor on drums. I found a video of this song:

“Wind On The Lake” is more like an impressionistic musical painting with acoustic guitar and acoustic piano background supporting the electric guitar playing the melody. After a piano solo we hear the melody again, this time with Yotam singing and playing it on the guitar. The song ends with an incredible guitar solo with great dynamics.

“Impedimento” starts with a intensive latin groove and features again Vitor Gonçalves on accordion. He and Yotam play solos on this gorgeous Brazilian samba.

“Night Walk” the next song has short intro by John Patitucci and is a softer song again with beautiful harmonies, in Latin style with John Patitucci on electric bass, Glenn Zaleski on Fender Rhodes and Andre Mehmari on synthesizers which defines the special more “electric” sound of this tune.

The next song “Capricho de Donga” is a composition by Brazilian bandolin player and composer Hamilton de Holanda and shows the virtuosity of all musicians. Solos are by Vitor Gonçalves on piano, Yotam Silberstein on guitar and John Patitucci on bass. This song is one of my favorites on the album, a great composition that requires mastery on the instrument.

“A Picture of Yafo” comes next and this composition by Yotam Silberstein follows his composition pattern with a simple melody, played this time by John Patitucci on a fretless bass,  and an open improvisation part that gives a lot of space to the soloist.

A second capricho by Hamilton de Holanda comes next. “Capricho de Espanha” sounds like an etude for the advanced student. The solo part has an open first part where Yotam Silberstein plays in harmonic minor to emphasize on the Spanish character. The second part of the solo are regular chord changes. Glenn Zaleski on piano is the second soloist. During the first part of his solo he gets great support from Yotam on guitar and Daniel Dor on drums, it sounds like Glenn and Daniel have a real similar understanding since they connect so well.

“Choro Negro”, the last song of the album, a composition by Brazilian guitar player and composer Paulinho da Viola, is a beautiful duet between Vitor Gonçalves on piano and Yotam Silberstein on electric guitar. Sometimes you don’t need more than that, a gorgeous ending of this album.

Yotam Silberstein is very proud of this album, he said: “Together with an amazing group of musicians and humans, I went into the studio in Brooklyn, NY and after 3 intense days, we came up with what I consider my best work so far.” I think he has every reason for being proud. “Future Memories” is an album with a lot of rich facets of contemporary jazz music. The sound, the compositions and the groove are heavily influenced especially by Brazilian music and sets this album apart from the Jazz mainstream.

Yotam is currently on tour in Europe, in the next 10 days he will play in the UK, Sweden, Norway, 3 x in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and France. In November he will be in Muri AG, Switzerland, so I saved November 3, 2019 already in my calendar. More tour dates are found on Yotam’s website:

https://yotammusic.com/

A promotional video for the album is also available:

And finally a playlist on Spotify for you:

Laura Dickinson 17: Auld Lang Syne

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Just in time for the holidays comes an album from Grammy-winning music producer, vocal contractor and studio singer Laura Dickinson. Her album “Auld Lang Syne” was released November 20, 2018 and is a program of songs centered around the Christmas holiday season. This album is thought as a loving tribute to a time of year when people sincerely open their hearts to family and friends, and count their blessings while reflecting on the year gone by.

The record features excellent big band arrangements by top names like Johnny Mandel, Brent Fischer or James A. McMillen and brilliant vocal arrangements by Laura herself.

The album begins with the big band at full speed with “Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season”. Fantastic swinging by band and Laura Dickinson make sure that nobody starts to fall asleep during the holiday season. One blues chorus of solo go to trumpet, alto sax and guitar and then the horns get their chance to show off. A really great arrangement played and sung perfectly.

The second song “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” is in Laura Dickinson’s repertoire for quite some time and finally made it on this album. The arrangement is by Brent Fischer (he is also a Grammy winner) and he arranged it with a steady moving funky groove. My first highlight on the album. I found a live version of this song for your recommendation:

“Christmas is Starting Now” continues in full-speed-Christmas-spirit with another cool big band arrangement where all sections can show their skills. Trombones, saxes and trumpets and especially the drums have all highlights in the 2:46 minutes of this song. If you plan to have a dance party at Christmas, then this is the right song for it.

“Peace And Joy” is the next tune on the album and we hear Laura Dickinson together with a 24-voice choir including some of her vocal contractor colleagues. This tune is (again) perfectly arranged and sung and brings us back to the traditional more contemplative Christmas mood.

“The Man with the Bag” features Steve Trapani on bass-trombone, which other instrument would represent Santa better? Very entertaining, dynamically arranged and played.

“Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me” from the movie “White Christmas” features Kye Palmer on trumpet.  He switches  to “How Deep is the Ocean” in his solo. Laura gets her chance as well here with an impressive finale of the song.

“A Marshmallow World” is the next song and returns with it’s sweet and happy sound to the classic picture we have of American Christmas.

“Miss You Most At Christmas” is a cover version of the Mariah Carey hit, but Laura’s version has much more power and emotions than the original.  The incredible string arrangement creates a very natural sound and makes this song to my favorite on the album.

“Let It Snow!” surprises with an extraordinary and extravaganza arrangement in New Orleans style by James A. McMillen. Here is one of those versions where I am really surprised about the ideas and creativity of well-established arrangers.
A video from the recording studio is also available for this song, which I highly recommend:

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” features Laura and pianist Alan Steinberger. Another ideal opportunity for Laura to show her mastery, her vocal range and her perfect intonation.

The final song on the album is the title song “Auld Lang Syne” (Old Long Since) which is the traditional tune sung in the English-speaking world at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the old year. The tune is based on an old Scots folk melody and the arrangement of guitarist Andrew Synowiec revives that spirit. Guitars and Laura’s for several voices singing dominate this tune.

To summarize it, the album is an impressive collection of outstanding arrangements presented in a impeccable manner by a great big band and an incredibly versatile Laura Dickinson. The album covers different nuances of the Christmas spirit from sticky sweet to melancholic back to a big party and ends with the right song for New Year’s Eve, so it is the perfect companion for the whole holiday season.

Here comes a playlist on Spotify to listen to the album:

If you want to learn more about Laura Dickinson, please check out her website:
http://www.lauradickinson.com/