In a single word, Yotam Silberstein’s recent release Resonance is captivating. But with a dictionary’s worth of words, the descriptions of his poignant artistry are infinite. Over the course of eleven tracks, Silberstein plucks the heartstrings as he does his guitar, crafting a record of alluring charm that resonates in every cranny of the soul.
Silberstein makes no haste in the album opener “Two Bass Hit”, immediately jolting alive with electric wit. Pianist Aaron Goldberg echoes his speedy streams of guitar, propelled by Christian McBride’s rolling bass rhythm. Gregory Hutchinson’s cymbal-drum swoops tie the aural scene with succinct harmony, carrying the piece into swelling union. The air soon unravels, however, expanding into an eclectic sprawl of tinny cymbal variations and swift piano gymnastics, punctuated by an offbeat switch to bowed bass. Silberstein’s elaborate guitar ribbons weave through with cool ease, assuming lightning velocity one second, and delicate sparseness the next.
His casually ingenious vibe blossoms into shining brilliance in “McDavid”, one of the guitarist’s own compositions. The light tune stirs about a modest radiance, laced in an acoustic funk quality that ebbs and flows as the minutes pass. But between the lines of Goldberg’s relaxed piano and Silberstein’s tangy cascades lurks a trace of bittersweet nostalgia. Both musicians almost imperceptibly lapse into melancholic softness amid their upbeat tempo, magnetizing the melody with piercing complexity.
Two outliers do emerge from the album, kindling an understated, misty-eyed warmth that humbly lingers in the heart. Silberstein adapts “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Kindergarten)” from vocalist Yehudit Ravitz’s Hebrew song of the same name, morphing the work into an unornamented meander through a pensive musical road. He mingles with Goldberg, McBride, and Hutchinson in a harmony that takes its time, inching forward with the dreamy sultriness of a romantic lullaby.
“Merav”, however, illustrates Silberstein’s craft in most intense and evocative form. Every second of the six minute track unfolds into tentative mistiness, richly steeping in the hands of Goldberg’s reflective piano and Silberstein’s subdued chords. Both artists intertwine with raw elegance, the former player’s slivers of classical piano seeping into the latter’s mellower jazz mood. Shrouded in sensuously mysterious undertones, the piece at once embodies and evades both genres, wearing the introspective weight of the world on its shoulders. Though crafted with intricate grace, “Merav” is never tender as it is somberly hypnotic, beckoning to the ears time and again – only to wistfully retreat.