Koby Hayon’s debut album, Gemini, features a wide-open style of playing that gives the trio plenty of room to fill space and experiment with the pushing and pulling of time to shape the musical space around them.
Featuring drummer Jerome Morris and veteran bassist Kermit Driscoll, Hayon's compositions blend traditional jazz guitar with Middle-Eastern song and pop. Born in Israel, Hayon works to incorporate the indigenous Middle-Eastern sound of his home throughout his compositions and improvisations. Before arriving in New York in 2001, Hayon studied at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv. Hayon went on to study with John Abercrombie and Todd Coolman at Purchase College outside of NYC. It is hard to pin down the overall vibe of this album. The guitar playing is very disjunct with solos seemingly put together with a number of rather unrelated ideas.
Hayon pieces together quick tonal scaler runs with jagged, slightly atonal arpeggios to create a constant sense of tension. This is, of course, not true throughout the album - on the title track Hayon cuts a refreshingly melodic solo that lends itself nicely to the rhythm section and also blends well with the melody of the tune. Just when you think there is a real spark of energy, the lights go out. Tracks to listen to: “Norwegian Wood” and “Gemini.”