Monday, June 14, 2010
OUT OF HIS LEAGUE
I have mixed feelings about your new album, which I listened to over the weekend. You're a decent guitarist, but not aggressive like many of your peers. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. You hired musicians such as bassist Christian McBride, drummer Gregory Hutchinson and pianist Aaron Goldberg who have a ton of star power. I'm not sure that was a smart move. McBride brings a high level of professionalism to most albums he grace, so I understand why you wanted him. However, the hazard of hiring a musician with such dominate chops is McBride could've been easily mistaken as the leader instead of his intended purpose. Yotam, I hate being a jerk, but I questioned if you're in the same league as the others, particularly McBride. He has such a big presence throughout the album. Did you want it that way? Hutchinson and Goldberg are aggressive players as well, which contradicted you're laid back style. The ballads you performed suited you. Playing those kinds of songs is your strength. I wonder if hiring McBride, Hutchinson and Goldberg was more of a marketing ploy.