Today’s find is a solo guitar piece from the newly released album Strange Protagonists by Israeli jazz musician Tal Yahalom (also of the trio KADAWA). “Tsukuru’s Pilgrimage,” named for a Haruki Murakami novel, is a work of spontaneous composition, which isn’t exactly the same as improvisation, but still requires a musician to follow his/her spirit where it may lead in the moment. The piece combines qualities that remind me of several of my favorite guitarists without actually aping them. The ringing chords and gently meandering notes that introduce the track resemble those often featured in Bill Frisell’s work, but with an Eastern musical and tonal sensibility that contrasts with Frisell’s rolling, major key Americana. Similarly, some of the speedier runs on “Tsukuru’s Pilgrimage” sound like something ever-so-slightly more deliberate than what Pat Metheney might fire off. However, there’s a passage at the end, featuring a spindle of feedback overlaid by grungy, distorted chords, that you would never hear from either of the aforementioned guitarists. Yahalom’s guitar tone throughout the piece is flawless; it can sound like morning sunlight one moment and dirty cobwebs the next. A great piece of instrumental work.
Side note: I need to give some props to Gaya Feldheim Schorr for the wildly creative collage that graces the cover of Strange Protagonists; as usual, the image is what initially led me to listen to the music.
Check out more from Tal Yahalom’s solo work: https://talyahalom.bandcamp.com/
and his work with the trio KADAWA: https://kadawamusic.bandcamp.com/releases
Check out Gaya Feldheim Schorr (who is a musician herself): https://www.facebook.com/gayafeldheimschorrmusic/