Caplan, Gadi - Morning Sun,
Continuing on my odyssey of discovering albums I should have heard long below, here is Gadi Caplan’s third studio album, which was released in the middle of 2016. Originally trained on piano as a child, Caplan switched to guitar in his teens and developed a passion for rock and blues which took him on many journeys. He lived in India for two years studying traditional Indian music and sitar, before moving to New York City in 2006 where he joined various rock bands, then to Boston in 2007 to study jazz, fusion and funk along with composition at the Berklee College of Music. Now based in Brooklyn, in 2014 he joined The Weeping Willards on lead guitar, forming a strong relationship with singer/composer Danny Abowd. And they soon started writing songs together which form the backbone of this album.
On this album Gadi provides guitar, bass and synth while Danny provides vocals and trombone. There are some songs when it is just the two of them, but they also know what is needed to take the music to the next level, and have brought in some guests as well, who all play a major part in how the album sounds. Bruno Esrubilsky is on drums and percussion, Duncan Wickel on violin, viola and cello, Jesse Gottlieb background vocals and trumpet, Jonathan Greenstein on tenor sax, Christian Li on keyboards and Jay Gandhi on bansuri flute. At times, I am reminded of the music of Anthony Phillips, turned into songs with wonderful vocals, at others it is more like world music with so many different influences all combining into something that is Western but being taken to a new level. Although it is laid-back and never forceful, there is a sense of real purpose and direction in this album, so much so that it cannot ever drift into the background as the listener keeps wanting to understand where the next musical twist will take them. Reminiscent at times of Gilmour or Chandler, Gadi’s solos are always part of the piece as a whole, and his skill is in never really taking centre stage, but letting the vocals do their job while he layers on both acoustic and electric guitars. This is a truly glorious album.