By Alex W. Rodríguez | Published June 2019
The latest statement from guitar virtuoso Yotam Silberstein, Future Memories, is an impeccably crafted take on contemporary jazz from a longtime denizen of the Brooklyn scene, one that showcases his instrumental virtuosity through a combination of original compositions and interpretations of Brazilian choro.
The opening title track is typical, in that it’s fast-paced, virtuosic, tightly orchestrated and anchored by Daniel Dor’s precise drumming. “Wind On The Lake” offers an intriguing change of pace. Gliding over a lilting 6/8 groove, Silberstein seems freer to express nuance than on the faster, complex barnburners that constitute most of the album. His occasional inclusion of wordless vocalizations in his wispy tenor are a bit precious, but fans of Bon Iver or Sufjan Stevens likely will appreciate the gestures.
Silberstein dedicates about half of the album to interpretations of Brazilian melodies, where he’s joined by Vitor Gonçalves on keys and accordion. These pieces are faithful approximations, but nonetheless clearly a step removed from their source material, and most effective when serving as a vehicle for Silberstein’s enviable guitar chops.
Having been on the scene for more than a decade, the bandleader is a known quantity; this recording will do little to move the needle. But admirers of his instrumental prowess will not be disappointed, the album offering a crystal-clear window into his signature sound and approach.
Future Memories: Future Memories; Matcha; Wind On The Lake; Impedimento; Intro To Night Walk; Night Walk; Capricho De Donga; A Picture Of Yafo; Capricho De Espanha; Choro Negro. (57:13)
Personnel: Yotam Silberstein, guitar, vocals, percussion; John Patitucci, acoustic bass, electric bass; Daniel Dor, drums, percussion; Vitor Gonçalves, piano, accordion, keyboard, percussion (1, 4, 7, 8, 10); Andre Mehmari, synthesizer (1, 3, 6); Glenn Zaleski, piano, Fender Rhodes (2, 3, 6, 9).