Israeli guitarist/composer Yotam transmits fluency, articulation, extraordinary chops and a strong penchant for dynamics on his debut effort for Jazz Legacy Productions. Unlike many others, Yotam does not get bogged down in technical gymnastics while making every note count. He’s a be-bopper yet morphs a divergent schema into the production with the assistance of an all-star support structure, although it is a democratic engagement, indeed.
The guitarist launches the festivities with a crisp, up-tempo spin on John Lewis and Dizzy Gillespie’s bop classic, "Two Bass Hit." Here, Yotam’s soloing is a decomposition effort, sparked by his dark, resonant lines and regimented unison choruses with the band. Moreover, pianist Aaron Goldberg’s mesmeric solo adds a bit of fuel to the fire.
Yotam explores various song-forms amid ethnocentric genres and ballads to complement his renditions of timeless jazz classics. The guitarist generates a buoyant flair on trumpeter Clifford Brown’s "Daahoud." Here, Yotam renders reverse phrasings and climactic choruses atop the band’s rather jubilant support. And guest musician, trumpeter Roy Hargrove assists with the snazzy R&B hue during saxophonist Joe Henderson’s zesty piece titled "Mamacita," where the soloists engage in shifty voicings and a frothy cadence.
In sum, Yotam imparts an electro-organic presence and steps on the gas when needed. He’s also a shrewd arranger who generates a transparent balance, culminating from old school persuasions and intertwined with present day concepts and applications. Moreover, Yotam is a lyrical technician who conveys depth and a broad range of ideas to complement his multifaceted line of attack.