Free Jazz guitarist Ido Bukelman describes the title of his new record as a search for a song. With his quartet, â€śCracked Songâ€ť more often than not finds melodic pathways through several genres that arrive at sublime and deft songs. Bukelman is generous with the time he allows his band, but this is his show, as he employs electric and acoustic guitar to raucous and gorgeous effect.
A little bit Andalusian and little bit Arabic, â€śStillâ€ť is filtered through abstract Klezmer. â€śNechodi Birdâ€ť is the first showcase for Bukelmanâ€™s chops, but also for the other members, as percussion, bass and cello also figure prominently in the melody. Bukelmanâ€™s range of expression is shown in frantic, Zorn-y â€śCity Tail,â€ť while â€ś(To The Cracks)â€ť slowly builds from ballad to fusion freakout jam. â€śFloweryâ€ť is a straight on traditional jazz ballad, democratic as always with hollow-body electric, plus bass and drums (Assaf Hakimi and Udi Schlomo respectively) trading solos.
Following a haunting solo cello piece (â€śThe songs Driftâ€ť) by Yuval Mesner, the finale, â€śJulia,â€ť a gorgeous ballad in which Bukelman displays the warmth of his acoustic playing and also allows the band to abstractly fill in spaces that are mostly silent.
As with his recent solo record, â€śCracked Songsâ€ť offers samples of the range of guitar work of which Udo Bukelman is capable. At home in ferocious improvisation as he is in delicate chord progressions and melodic grounding, he is one of the great unknown (at least in America) guitarists. Fledgling label Out Now Recordings is off on the right foot by shining the spotlight on this true artist.