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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Times A Charm., December 5, 2011
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This review is from: Hearts Wide Open (MP3 Music)
Here we have the third solo album by Israeli native Gilad Hekselman Hearts Wide Open. A jazz guitarist that has been working on the NYC jazz scene with many of the younger jazz musicians like drummer/leader Ari Hoenig appearing recently on Ari's latest releaseLines of Oppression being a major contributer to the success of that sound.

This is Gilad's third solo release & in my opinion his most original & most inspired work to date. Gilad is featured in trio & quartet with Marcus Gilmore on drums, Joe Martin on acoustic bass and Mark Turner on tenor sax. Much attention can be paid to the great chemistry between Gilad & his sidemen. Marcus Gilmore is one of the most creative young drummers playing on the scene today right along with players like Eric Harland, Chris Dave and Justin Brown. He's recently been featured on several new releases The Age We Live in a high octane fusion outing & Small Club, Big City a more straight ahead trio date with one of Gilad's peers Lage Lund. Mark Turner has been a main stay of the NYC jazz scene as a busy sideman with Kurt Rosenwinkle & as a leader for twenty years along with bassist Joe Martin who's got two great albums to his credit & has appeared with along list of jazz musicians in NYC.

The album opens with Prologue a country like acoustic guitar piece only thirty seconds long complete with a catchy whistled melody. This gives way to

Track 2 "Hazelnut Eyes" which has a catchy drum groove & a catchy melody that sounds alot like early Pat Metheny with shades of Bill Frisell. This tune features the trio of Hekselman, Gilmore & Joe Martin. Gilad has a nice solo on this tune that contains melodic themes that occur throughout the album.

Track 3 "One More Song" is an awesomely rhythmic piece with grooves from Gilad's home land of Israel and harmonic colors to match. Mark Tuner joins the trio on this tune, taking the lead on the theme statement accompanied by Gilad's rhythmic comping & Gilmore's killer groove, he's a master of nuance & rhythmic dialogue throughout the entire album. Mark Turner & Gilad both take nice extended solos on this tune with everyone in top flight.

Track 6 "Hearts Wide Open" is in my opinion one of the high points of the album. It's very progressive yet doesn't loose the listener. Gilad's writing leaves lots of space for improvisation but he applies just the right amount of compositional direction to it which allows the music to flow & develop naturally the last two and a half minutes of the piece provide a brilliant close with Mark Turner soloing furiously over the closing vamp.

Track 8 "Understanding" begins at a whisper dynamic & develops into a very catchy motif that Gilad & Turner play in unison before Gilad eases his way into a progressively climactic solo first being backed by Gilmore with brushes in hand his later switch to sticks allows him to build his statements which accompany Gilad into the catchy motif introduced earlier where Turner blows his tenor like a minister testifying before his children the word of the lord as the band vamps the melodic motif they quietly bring it down & end.

Track 9 is a short but very beautiful free time ballad piece that has shades of folk & country with singing bowed upright bass from Joe Martin. The piece is titled "Will You Let It" it closes the album.

Track 10 is Epilogue which is a reprise of track 1 it's got this "guy walking off into the sun set sort of image it paints in my mind every time I hear it".

There you have it, In my opinion Gilad's most consistent most accessible album yet. I'd like to point out how much Gilad's composing has developed if you've followed his career from his first cd releaseSplitlifethruWords Unspoken you'll hear the great development of his compositions . I'd recommend this to serious jazz listeners & listeners just crossing over into jazz from rock or even jam bands or fusion. I found it a very enjoyable listening experience that kept me wanting more. Check it out!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, October 22, 2014
This review is from: Hearts Wide Open (Audio CD)
I love the cd
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gilad takes a slightly new direction and it works well, September 7, 2011
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David Pena (Lockport, IL.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hearts Wide Open (MP3 Music)
gilad hekselmans hearts wide open a fresh taste of modern day jazz which is evolving quite well hazelnut eyes from the opening demands ones attention relaxing something to wind down the day with the whole album is that way, gilad and his fellow musicians getting more innovative with every album and every tune, one more song great tune nicely mixed up think thats what really impressed me the most about the album different sounds different melodies and moods bright tunes flower for instance catchy too, brooze is classic edgy and swingin, hearts wide open title track smooth real smooth, the titles of the songs alone captivating and they turned out to be every bit of that and then some really exquisite album but please dont take my word for it indulge oh yeah the placement of will you let it in the track listing was awesome kind of tied the bow on it loved it way to go gilad jazz guitar lives on theres a new kid in town
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Hearts Wide Open
Hearts Wide Open by Gilad Hekselman (Audio CD - 2011)
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