By Bill Milkowski | Published November 2018
Guitarist Gilad Hekselman expresses two very different sides of his musicality with separate trios on his sixth outing as a leader. With his gHEX Trio, Hekselman turns in appealing, warm-toned, post-Pat Metheny offerings, like the gently introspective ode “It Will Get Better,” the breezy, Brazilian-influenced “Milton” and the engaging rubato ditty “Little Song For You.” His more heavily effected side comes out with his dynamic Zuperoctave trio on numbers like “VBlues” and the pulse-quickening fusion romp “Tokyo Cookie.”
The serene “Stumble,” based on Wayne Shorter’s “Fall,” finds Aaron Parks and Hekselman sharing bass duties. Parks solos first, turning in sparse, deliberate lines on Fender Rhodes, while Hekselman underscores lines on his guitar before delving into a lyrical solo. The real surprise here is the heartland closer, “Do Re Mi Fa Sol,” replete with overdubbed strings, a bit of Bill Frisellian countrified twang and a memorable whistled refrain that sticks in the brain. In both settings, Hekselman combines his inherent melodicism and uncanny technique with a fresh vision as a composer, showing why he topped the Rising Star–Guitar category in the 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll.
Ask For Chaos: PROLOGU00001 101; VBlues; It Will Get Better; Tokyo Cookie; Stumble; Milton; Home To You; Little Song For You; Clap Clap; Do Re Mi Fa Sol. (60:06)
Personnel: Gilad Hekselman, guitar, bass; Rick Rosato, bass (3, 6, 8, 10); Jonathan Pinson, drums (3, 6, 8, 10); Aaron Parks, synthesizers, Rhodes, piano (2, 4, 5, 7, 9); Kush Abadey, drums (2, 4, 5, 7, 9); Duncan Wickel, strings (10).