Tal Yahalom | Lights Out Review
By Griff Stevens
Tal Yahalom is an Israeli guitarist and composer based in Brooklyn, New York since moving there in 2014. Yahalom’s distinct background gives his music an unique language that combines the sounds of hard-bop, alternative-rock, impressionistic classical music, free improvisation, and contemporary songwriters from various genres. His compositions are engaging and storytelling that expands on the guitar’s traditional functions and textural capabilities. As a leader, Yahalom performs regularly with various solo programs, different trio configurations (which featured Dan Weiss, Caroline Davis, and Tom Rainey, among others) and a newly formed chamber-jazz quintet. He is now releasing his latest project called Lights Out, his 2nd solo release. The project presents 4 original compositions, performed on solo classical and acoustic guitars that were composed, recorded, and brought to life entirely during the pandemic, between July and September.
“Sleepless” is the first of the four songs. Yahalom creates a relaxing sound space with his acoustic guitar as he plays a singing melody. His fingers styled right-hand playing keeps a steady pulse through arpeggios as he accents the upper theme. Yahalom’s composition is dynamic, and the beauty between the melody and bass figures create a mesmerizing counterpoint.
“Goodby, For Now” is a gorgeous melody that embodies the complicated feelings isolation during the pandemic. Yahalom creates a musical setting with his nylon-string guitar of uncertainty alongside moments of optimism. Perfect for relaxing and spending quiet moments of reflection.
Lights Out explores a wide dynamic range with four compositions that investigate space, counterpoint, and resonance. Yahalom’s guitar playing is balanced with a warm tone, and he does a fantastic job of keeping all the moving parts of solo guitar performance moving and clear.
Lights Out Review
Release Date: September 30, 2020