The Drought Bell by Eyal Hareuveny, The freejazz blog:
"This is the fourth solo album of prolific Israeli guitarist Ido Bukelman in four years, marking his urgent need to keep exploring and expanding his sonic palette of the guitar, augmented occasionally with sparse percussion sounds and bells.
These immediate sonic associations are delivered as concise, poetic, haiku-like pieces."
What the Moment Asks By Ophir Ilzetzky
HALAS Radio, Experimental Israel
"...Bukelman takes us through his own personal journey as a run-of-the-mill jazz guitarist who slowly discovers his personal language to be distinct from the jazz idiom and even its freer trends. Accordingly, into the Halas studio entered a tall and ever smiling individual with a one-man-band setup that wouldn’t shame any such street performer
.... Bukelman continues to engage a setup that includes two floor toms, a set of cowbells, cymbal, zither accompanied with e-bow and (tiny) cymbal, a resonating metal music stand, small gong, and prepared banjo acting more as a percussion instrument than a stringed one. Bukelman’s mastery over this setup is almost complete. With it he manages to give both the visual and audible effect of a performer playing on one extended instrument.
To this listener it seems that Bukelman represents a musician who was almost forced into the world of experimentalia and improvisation by the default of his honest search for his true voice and technique.
...It is interesting to note that in the few times I have heard Bukelman perform, he seems to exemplify this ethos in complete honesty: each of these situations took place in a different time and space, with different performers and setups. And indeed each time, Bukelman managed to illuminate the moment in a completely different fashion although using similar gestures and materials at times. It was absolutely magical to witness firsthand that the mastery Bukelman has over his own instrument is as true for his mastery over events in time. It’s as if he was able to expertly shape moments into a perfectly timed narrative and build towards a drama that seems to have surprised him as much as it did me.
The complete interview (in Hebrew) and full article (in English)
By Barry Davis:
Free improv guitarist Ido Bukelman’s opener on Monday was a typically free-flowing affair. In recent years Bukelman increasingly featured arco banjo in his work, but appears to have reverted to his first instrument. Judging by Monday’s slot it was a good move. He delivered his regular frenetically percussive fare but there were some richly crafted blues sentiments in there too, and there was rhyme and reason to the end product. It was a gripping tour de force.
By Bill Meyer, Wire:
“…Bukelman is even better on his own. Solo is totally acoustic and even more in your face. He bridges brusque, Bailey-esque harmonics-leaping and the sort of savage,
tuning-be-damned slashing that Bill Orcutt has favoured of late. Tightly wound and fearsomely sure of itself."
By Mike Wood, foxydigitalis:
Bukelman has become a master in his own right. “Solo” is one of the first releases on the new, daring OutNow Recordings, and it is a fittingly memorable, risky achievement for artist and label.
“Solo” is structured like many improvised avant-garde guitar records, with uses on silence, noise, jarring disjointed or disembodied chords, etc. but Ido Bukelman has a sense of melody and rhythm that, though deconstructed to great degree, is present and underpins this set with an unexpected and sublime grace.
By Phil McMullen, Wild thing:
Ido Bukelman also has a finger or two, well, eight hyperactive fingers and two very flexible thumbs really, in his Solo cd. All 'free', all erm, 'solo' and doggedly abstract. His Martin acoustic goes through several brands of wringer, including a noticeable tuning down of the strings, prominent finger squeaks, feedback layering and more unidentified sounds. Bill Orcutt (the ex-Harry Pussy-man), would be the nearest comparison I could grasp I guess, though the rather dry production is much more microscopic, picking up every last microdetail.
By Rainlore's World of Music 2012/07/21:
"Released in October 2011 on the adventurous Israeli OutNow label, Ido Bukelman's Solo is his debut solo recording, choosing acoustic guitar as his weapon.
Remarkably accessible, for a free improv avant-garde recording at any rate, Solo sees Bukelman exploring the sonic possibilities of both his acoustic guitar's strings and body, with the addition of some sensitive electronica on a couple of tracks. He often maintains a surprisingly melodic as well as harmonic framework, from which he then sometimes moves on into explorations of noise.
As free improv avant-garde recordings go, Solo could even be said to be among the more attractive ones. However, it may take the average listener a few good listens to really discover this. But the album is certainly compelling enough to warrant repeated playing to explore Bukelman's often fantastical, sometimes surprisingly lyrical, soundscapes, and it isn't wanting in consistency either.
Even if the avant-garde and free improv are not your usual 'cup of tea,' give Ido Bukelman's Solo a few listens at least. It may have a few surprises in store for you. Keep an open mind, treat it as a journey of discovery, and you may well end up amazed at what you find.
By EYAL HAREUVENI, Allaboutjazz:
“…Bukelman abstracts the structure and lets his intuition lead him on. ..the chaotic fretting blossoms into clear themes, even, at times, into harmonic exploration of a theme. Here, Bukelman is reminiscent of other solo guitar improvisers such as Ralph Towner or of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.
Yair Yona, smalltownromance blog:
"Bukelman released his album, titled ‘Solo’, which fans of experimental acoustic guitar should listen to, because it’s really brilliant.
Far from being easy listening, it’s a demanding and sophisticated music, a-tonal and exciting, but if you consider yourself experimental music fans, this album should not pass you by."
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery:
Last month (Sept 2011), Israeli saxist Yoni Kretzmer left us with a half dozen discs on this new Israeli label called Outnow. Three of these featured a great yet little known avant/jazz guitarist named Ido Bukelman, in a solo, trio and quartet context.
Bukelman plays a number of truly out electric solos with strong whammy-bar action and occasional moments when he dives off the deep the end but always winds up back to more recognizable structures. He can also play some straight (toned) jazz guitar while the bass and drums spin quickly around him. 'Cracked Song' seems like an appropriate title for one of the more adventurous avant/jazz guitar quartet discs of the year.
By Mike Wood, foxydigitalis:
As with his recent solo record, “Cracked Songs” offers samples of the range of guitar work of which Ido 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.
By Phil McMullen, Wild thing
"Ido's fretwork would give any serious follower of Pauvros, Ulmer, Bjorkenheim and Lifetime-era Johnny McLaughlin a s-e-r-i-o-u-s hot flush of joy. Oh, and let's not forget the theremin-like trail that closes the latter cut; this being a particularly righteous example of pedal trickery for sure... “
By IAN HOLLOWAY ,Wonderful Wooden Reasons:
Oh, now this is really very good. I'm not the world's biggest fan of jazz guitar or of guitar noodling in general but Bukelman and friends have produced a set of tumbling and careening compositions that showcase a focussed and varied jazz style.
There's much to admire in the exacting moves between extravagant explorations and cool meanderings. The interactions between the quartet feels natural and unforced. The music is alive and vibrant and eager to be heard.
By Rainlore's World of Music:
Ido Bukelman's Cracked Song is surprisingly melodic in outlook, although ultimately, free improvisation still comes to the fore. And so do Bukelman's guitar pyrotechnics. Mesner is not shy of delivering some cracking cello fireworks, either. While challenging and stimulating, Ido Bukelman's Cracked Song is also remarkably accessible and often highly lyrical even. Full of surprises, this album is both bold and beautiful.
The compositions in themselves are mostly surprising in their strongly melodic orientation. Their quality is matched by that of the lively, exciting improvs all round.
Thoroughly consistent, Ido Bukelman's Cracked Song is also riveting, and demanding of being played again. Indeed, this is impossible to resist! This is one of the most interesting, stimulating and still beautiful albums of the past year or so to have come out of Israel. Bold, beautiful, and brilliant! And a very enjoyable listen.
The Ido Bukelman Quartet's Ido Bukelman's Cracked Song is something of a must have for the dedicated free jazz aficionado, and should even appeal to the more general jazz fan. Go on, live dangerously!
By Adam Baruch, Jazzis:
"...this is a first rate Free Jazz album, which most "regular" Jazz enthusiasts should enjoy as well. This level of musicianship, personal courage and dedication to the music is a heartwarming and one can hope that the future of noncommercial and artistic music in Israel has a new perspective in the hands of a new generation, which will take it further. This is brilliant stuff, not to be misse."
By EYAL HAREUVENI, Published: February 16, 2012
"Looking back at gifted Israeli guitarist Ido Bukelman's discography— his improvised solo album, The Door (Kadima) and Solo (OutNow, 2011) and his experimental electronic trio EFT (OutNow Recordings, 2012)— his Cracked Song quartet is clearly more straight-ahead. Bukelman navigates this quartet in a musical journey after a song structure, within the framework and freedom of improvised jazz...
Ido Bukelman’s Cracked Song is another testimony to the creativity and versatility of Bukelman as a composer, player and a leader."
By Eyal Hareuveni, freejazzblog, October 12, 2015:
Guitarist Ido Bukelman is one of the most prolific musicians in the small Israeli experimental, free-improvised scene. His latest releases feature two of his working outfits, the free jazz Hanut Trio and his Ground Birds duo, both with double bass player Nada Masel.
Hanut Trio - featuring Bukelman on electric guitar, Masel and drummer Nir Sabag, is named after its tiny performance home club, Hanut (Shop in Hebrew) in Tel Aviv. This free jazz trio has built its aesthetics through many live performances and ad-hoc collaborations with Polish reed player Mikołaj Trzaska and innovative Israeli improvisers as veteran clarinet player Harold Rubin and OutNow Recordings label colleague sax player Yoni Kretzmer.
All the eight pieces feature loose composed narratives, six were penned by Bukelman and two by the trio. Bukelman is the natural leader of the trio, the one who usually sets the tone and the dynamics of each piece with dense guitar lines. But the interplay of the trio is quite democratic and leaves enough space for the Masel and Sabag to add color and depth. Sabag opts often for contemplative, fractured drumming while the thoughtful bass work of Masel grounds the flights of Bukelman and pulse-free coloring of Sabag.
Three pieces stand out. Masel Moroccan flute playing on the short “A Flute Like This” adds an exotic, Gnawa-tinged trance-like sound that unfortunately is not developed later on. The moving, bluesy-breezy “Object Theater”. and the atmospheric, cinematic “Island”, with its intriguing sounding tension building, highlight the nuanced, varied language of this trio.
By Jan Granlie, salt-peanuts:
Jazz fra Israel er ikke det vi hører mest på her oppe i höga norr! Men på grunn av vår utsendte i Midt-Østen, kommer det fra tid til annen pakker med musikk derfra i posten. I hovedsak via gitaristen Ido Bukelman, som også deltar på denne innspillingen, sammen med trommeslager og perkusjonist Nir Sabag og bassist og fløytist Nadav Masel.
Bukelman er en av de mest fremtredende av de israelske frijazzmusikere. Han kom med sin første innspilling i 2009, «City Tail», og viser hans store fascinasjon for Ornette Coleman og Jimi Hendrix. Han gjør mange solokonserter, og er med i flere prosjekter. Han har reist mye på festivaler i Europa, og har også spilt med perkusjonisten Airto Moreira, trommeslageren Gunter «Baby» Sommer, den norske saksofonisten Frode Gjerstad og med den polske saksofonisten Mikoaj Trzaska.
På denne innspillingen med Hanut Trio, innspilt i Jaffa i april 2014, kan vi høre flere elementer fra Ornette Colemans måte å tenke musikk på. Her er det det harmolodiske som står i førersetet, og Bukelmans frie improvisasjoner blir godt backet opp av Masels energiske bass-spill og Sabags drivende trommespill.
På tredjesporet, «A Flute Like This», hvor Masel spiller marokkansk fløyte, får vi også en følelse av at disse musikerne kommer fra Midt-Østen. Her er det folkemusikk i fin kombinasjon med det fritt improviserte.
I denne trioen er det nesten bare Ornette selv som mangler. Man tar seg i å savne hans altsaksofon komme inn i partier etter at Bukelman har levert en av sine temaer eller soloer, som til forveksling kan minne om Bernie Nix i Ornettes Prime Time-band.
By EYAL HAREUVENI, Allaboutjazz:
seeking a deeper, resonant ambience that expands the conventional sonic possibilities of a six-string guitar.
The title composition-improvisation, in three parts, unfolds patiently and gently, and through its basic skeletal structure Bukelman explores beautiful harmonic possibilities. "(The R.C. Singing) Over The Tall Flowers" further explores poetic, emotional playing.
By Adam Baruch, Jazzis:
This is the second solo recording by Israeli guitarist / composer Ido Bukelman, one of the most prolific musicians on the local Free Jazz / Improvised Music scene. In contrast to his ensemble recordings or those with the EFT trio, where he mostly plays electric guitar, on his solo albums Bukelman opts for the acoustic guitar, adding also banjo and some percussion on this one. Of the eleven tracks on this album, all composed by him, the last six are connected into a suite, which gives the album its title. In comparison to his previous solo album ("Solo"), recorded just a few months earlier, this album is much more relaxed and "well behaved", with clear melodic content popping out between and behind the freely improvised passages. Of course this is still very much Improvised Music, very personal and complex, which presents quite a challenge to the listener, but the overall effect of this album is definitely less stressful and estranging. With four albums recorded and released in less than a year Bukelman emerges as a major talent of the local scene, one that deserves to be followed carefully, open-mindedly and openheartedly as a source of some serious musical experiences.
By Stato Pubblicato, All About Jazz Italia:
"...A real stream of consciousness that draws from the languages of the avant-garde and the emotions of the soul. An excursion in the territories of thought and poetry, in perfect solitude, with no regrets."
In questo album Bukelman è da solo alle prese con la sua chitarra acustica, il banjo e piccole percussioni che riesce ad attivare mentre suona i due strumenti a corde, visto che il tutto è registrato in un unica presa di suono, senza sovraincisioni. Un vero e proprio stream of consciousness che pesca dai linguaggi delle avanguardie e dalle emozioni dell'anima. Una escursione nei territori del pensiero e della poesia, in perfetta solitudine, senza rimpianti.
By Par Luc Bouquet:
Le message est clair : l’harmonie doit être renversée, brisée, non plus interrogée mais anéantie. Pour Ido Bukelman, guitariste jadis influencé par Hendrix et aujourd’hui par la poésie d’Israël Eliraz, le salut passe et s’incruste dans la dissonance.
L’accord est toujours maltraitant. Les cordes sont frottées à même le nerf, battues et ballotées jusqu’au trépas. Nous sommes séduits par ce solo singulier, par cette envie de faire fondre les vanités. On aime cette Love Song empoisonnée à jamais et on souscrit, sans réserve aucune, à ce fiel déversé, ici, sans peur(s) et sans reproche(s).
By Noël Tachet:
Un maître de la suggestion. Une connaissance assurée de la guitare impro, blues, folk, etc… une dimension proprement guitaristique, un sens de la mise en scène, des plans sonores, beaucoup d’espace entre des sons pourtant pressés, une construction musicale dans l’instant de la sonorité et dans le développement dramatique, qui appartient en propre à la guitare comme reine de l’accompagnement. Une suggestion mélodique et harmonique prégnante, la capacité de mener simultanément plusieurs lignes, une mutation de la mélodie par le timbre, le son (timbre : ancien sens, mélodie réutilisée), un équilibre son/mélodie étonnant, un usage du temps extrêmement fort, entre l’instant sonore et le développement.
Un usage abondant de sortes d’arpèges mutants, pas si loin du banjo 5 cordes (présent par moments), mais mené un pas plus loin : les sons semblent venir d’ailleurs, comme des field recordings mais ils n’en sont pas, le monde est là, la musique est là.
Le disque est construit en deux parties, cinq pièces introductrices conduisent à The door, une suite en six parties assez majestueuses, inspirée d’un poème d’Israel Eliraz dont deux vers sont cités sur la pochette : "I know that music has the answer and one day it will be given" (je sais que la musique a la réponse et un jour elle sera donnée)
by Bruce Lee Gallanter, downtown music gallery:
“…Mr. Bukelman plays electric guitar here and does at times sound like Mr. Bailey playing those distinctive fractured lines. The trio has an intense, loping, slow down/speed up fragmented rhythmic approach. Their overall sound combines elements of free jazz, rock and noise with occasionally explosive moments. There are sections of sparse solo guitar as well as some over-the-top twisted trio insanity… EFT sound like one of the most distinctive bands to emerge from the Israeli underground in quite some time…”
By EYAL HAREUVENI, Published:
“Bukelman pushes forward, the trio's most aggressive and versatile player, hitting his electric guitar with heavy, long and sustained lines..."
By Adam Baruch, Jazzis:
"...Probably the most adventurous music ensemble on the local scene, the trio presents a completely unique amalgam of Noise, high power distorted Rock, Jazzy improvisations and a plethora of electronically generated sounds, all these spontaneously created during a process of telepathic musical conversation."
By Thurston Hunger on KFJC 89.7 fm:
"Fierce guitar-fueled improvisation from Tel Aviv but where Ido Bukelman drops off and Daniel Davidovsky steps in on electronics is blurred beautifully.Often I bolted my ears to Ofer Bymel’s drums, and then just enjoyed the ride through shrill hills of feedback and lightning sprawls of sound. On the closing track, Bukelman lays down the electric guitar to jangle mangle on acoustic for a bit, drifting into a softer phase of harmonics versus miniature dissonants. The guitar ramps up with a spanish frenzy, Bymel spinning bicycle gears into the mix, and Davidovsky casting a subtle wailing pall over the piece. That and “Teething” were the two more mellow pieces, the latter a great showcase of Davidovsky’s mastery over chaos. “Soul Cramp” is a nice rise and fall in dynamics. “Step Your Mind” prolongs the tense excitement of a horse ready to burst out of the blocks, a dominant humming drone holding back the sonic onslaught. This is the KFJC debut for Bukelman and Out Now Recordings, with plenty more to come!??"
בן שלו, הארץ:
שיא הערב היה הדואט של עידו בוקלמן ונדב מייזל. ההופעה הזאת היתה ממש מסעירה, אחת מאותן הופעות שנשמרות בזיכרון הרבה שנים. לא רק בזכות הצליל, שכמוהו לא שמעתי מעולם (בוקלמן ניגן עם קשת על בנג'ו – זה סאונד חד־פעמי). גם התמונה היתה נדירה. בוקלמן ומייזל לא הופיעו על הבמה. הם ניגנו על רצפת המועדון. בוקלמן ישב על כיסא, מייזל עמד במרחק של שני מטרים ממנו (ומאיתנו). שניהם היו יחפים. כשהם ניגנו הם הביטו זה בזה כל הזמן. רק מיתרים היו בהופעה הזאת, וקשר העין בין שני המוזיקאים, שהיה כמובן המשכו של קשר הלב ביניהם, מתח מיתר נוסף, בלתי נראה.
שני מוזיקאים הרפתקנים שהולכים יחפים על המיתר שמחבר בין הלבבות שלהם.
קונטרבס ובנג'ו מנוגנים עם קשתות, אבל אני לא זוכר מתי שמעתי מוזיקה שהזכירה כל כך את ג'ימי הנדריקס.
By Eyal Hareuveni, freejazzblog:
" Guitarist Ido Bukelman is one of the most prolific musicians in the small Israeli experimental, free-improvised scene. His latest releases feature two of his working outfits, the free jazz Hanut
Trio and his Ground Birds duo, both with double bass player Nada Masel.
The duo of Bukelman, on bowed banjo and acoustic guitar, and Masel, on the double bass, present the experimental, free-improvised aspect of their work. The pieces are associative, open ended, and Masel, again, is the one who takes the role of grounding - literally - the interplay towards a cohesive envelope.
The duo was recorded live at the Barbur gallery in Jerusalem on May 2013. This performance feature Bukelman plays both the bowed banjo and the guitar while on later performances he focuses most of the time on the banjo. The sound of the bowed banjo is an acquired taste - dirty, rusty, distorted, almost out-of-tune. But when it is met with Masel’s wise, adaptive bowed double bass it forms an interesting sonic ground. A disturbing yet patient, searching ambiance, arresting in its intense timbral spectrum and its search for a common thread, only to deconstruct it immediately after.
The two solo pieces stress the differences between the two. Bukelman solo guitar is a sort of free fly, free formed. It is a fast stream of associations, without any attempt to sketch any narrative, at times references the country-tinged guitar of Eugene Chadbourne and on others a continuation of his work on his solo acoustic guitar albums The Door and Solo (Kadima Collective and OutNow Recordings, both on 2011). Masel solo double bass is more solid, exploring methodically his rich sonic palette through a dark, resonating texture."
by Thurston Hunger kfjc 89.7FM:
A sharp release, Bukelman’s steel string guitar and
mighty banjo often feel like they are instruments of
garotte wire. On the title track we hear some of
his angular, percussive and brittle playing we’ve
come across from him before (and not far off from
the knife-like Bill Orcutt guitar work.) It’s
deeply experimental while at the same time having
a sort of backwoods country hint….a small hint
but it’s there still the same. Now add in some of
his banjo work, and it really feels like moments
of avant garde on the farm, by way of Jerusalem
where the musicians reside and this way recorded.
The banjo adds to the bright nature of the playing,
almost shrill at times, but there’s also that
scuffling of the resonating body. And on upright
bass, Nadav Masel is all over his bass as well: slap,
clack and bow from him. On “Ground Birds II” he
walks the bass slowly alone to start, almost finds
a funk spot, and keeps on strutting. The closer
has Bukelman pulling the drone out of a somewhat
sympathetic banjo (and not that banjo-ey), pretty
fantastic. Along with Brandon Seabrook, a little
musical mutiny with the banjo (and Paul Metzger
before as well) really sliced my ear nicely.
By EYAL HAREUVENI, all about jazz:
"Bukelman is first of all a melodist and knows how to tell a story. He is also a highly collaborative player that doesn't always seek the leading role, quite often opting for a supportive one more aimed at closer interplay with his trio mates."