Brazil in a Jazzy Way
It’s always fun to hear Brazilian music performed by non-Brazilians. That is, of course, if the music is well-performed and with the right dedication. The approach is often refreshing; not seldom enriched with of a touch of the musician’s own cultural heritage. Guitarist Yotam Silberstein from Tel Aviv, Israel, lives in New York and developed himself as a jazz musician who easily finds his way in local jazz clubs. At the same time he has a warm interest in Brazilian music.
When he was only 21 years old, Yotam won the prestigious “Israeli Jazz Player of the Year” award. It formed the basis of his success story. He started to perform more and more outside Israel and landed in the USA with a scholarship at the Mannes College, The New School for Music in New York. Soon he found himself playing with stars from the NY jazz-scene. He had a major opportunity to show his skills when he opened with the trio from Hammond B-3 organist Sam Yahel for Steely Dan all over the world (2009).
But here we’re talking about his current release, Brasil, Yotam’s dedication to Brazilian music. For this album the guitarist invited some of the finest musicians around. How good it is to hear Brazilian drummer/ percussionist Vanderlei Pereira! The NY based drummer is the strongest connection with Brazil on this album. In a relaxed but solid, reliable and most supportive way he interweaves the Brazilian rhythms of the songs with the jazzy approach from Yotam Silberstein. Pianist David Feldman was born in Rio de Janeiro, where he studied piano with Luiz Eça. He then lived in Israel and next he also studied jazz at the New School University in New York. Record label owner, producer of this cd and jazz giant John Lee is on bass. John also has a special interest in the beauty of Brazilian music. So you could say that these are the right musicians at the right place!
For the repertoire Yotam chose for some standards by Brazil’s classic composers, Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Dorival Caymmi and others. The guitarist shows wonderful skills and a respectful dedication to the music he loves so much. His guitar playing is spotless, technical perfect characterized by a nice warm sound. A few special guests bright up the session. We hear the legendary Claudio Roditi (1946, Rio de Janeiro, and since 1970 residing in NY) and jazz star Roy Hargrove on flugelhorns. The great Brazilian (jazz) guitarist Toninho Horta teams up with Yotam on a couple of tracks (the duo rendition of “Samba da Minha Terra” and the only Yotam original on the album, the beautiful ballad “Nocturno”). Rounding up the guest list are Sharel Cassity and Paquito D’Rivera on the clarinet (Sharel also plays flute).
The album is a joy to listen to, a record you can play under all conditions. Not spectacular but most certainly a piece of honest and well performed Brazilian Music!
You can visit Yotam and listen to his music on his website.
Jazz Legacy Productions JLP1101016 (2011)
- Influência do Jazz (Carlos Lyra)
- Doce de Coco (Jacob do Bandolim)
- Falando de Amor (AC Jobim)
- Saudade da Bahia (Dorival Caymmi)
- Antigua (AC Jobim)
- Nocturno (Yotam Silberstein)
- Piano na Mangueira (Chico Buarque – AC Jobim)
- Eu te Amo (Chico Buarque – AC Jobim)
- O Barquinho (Ronaldo Boscoli – Roberto Menescal)
- Pra Dizer Adeus (Edu Lobo)
- Samba da Minha Terra (Dorival Caymmi)