GADI CAPLAN – Look Back Step Forward

Gadi Caplan 2013

GADI CAPLAN - Look Back Step Forward

Look Back Step Forward

Inherent contradiction births the immaculate truth which is sophisticated simplicity.

This album’s title implies dialogue yet Caplan, Brooklyn-based Israeli guitarist whose creative path encompasses studies in India and at the Berklee, doesn’t fill the aural space with call-and-response but rather pulls you into his soliloquy. “It’s All The Same” opens up the most elegiac jazzy way only to unleash the fusion playfulness where sax rules the game before the keys and six strings pick the baton – and pass it back in quite a curious reading of sameness. There’s a lot of similar hidden riddles in the course of ten tracks: not for nothing the rock raga of “Within The Clouds” pours from a certain “Sgt. Pepper” cut until the funky undercurrent takes the piece to a different, thunderous and heavy, part of the skies. And while vocals seeping in the Eastern motif of “Brother” electrify the mood to the highest level of a slow-burn tension, the romantic “Charlotte” oozes acoustic elegance, “Frostbite” goes for more angular, modal approach to the structure and melody, rolling chords over spiky rhythm.

“Monsoon Season” rips it up even more sparsely, the raging guitar imitating the runs of sitar over synth waves, but, despite such a deceptive title and a dilruba pluck, the flute-soothed “Indian Summer” comes on rather Levantic and, supported by cymbals’ hiss, flies westwards as if beckoned by Andalusia. Much calmer, “A Latin Winter” pitches samba in the heart of the jive, whereas the title track turns boppy buzz into a chamber dance and then into the violin-abetted folk. As does “Tesha” – “nine” in Hebrew, albeit it’s the tenth composition here – that wraps swirling lines around the listener’s head, rising higher and higher and getting louder and louder in the “Red” vein. It’s a wonderful reminder that moving on and casting the glance over one’s shoulder can be both dangerous and adventurous. A trip worth taking.


July 8, 2014

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