Photos by Arnie Goodman
Tal Wilkenfeld and her band squeezed in a gig in New York City between dates of her opening slot on the Who’s current North American tour. It’s easy to see why she is highly sought after as a bass player by high caliber musicians throughout the jazz and rock worlds, notably Jeff Beck, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Krantz.
This year the native Australian is further extending her solo career with a tour, and a new album in the works. With Owen Barry on guitar, Chris Price on keyboards and guitar and Tamir Barzilay on drums and percussion, the audience was presented with a wide spectrum of musical genres. Ranging from punk/alternative-sounding pop to low-energy ballads, acoustic singer-songwriter tunes to rock/fusion jams, when you add it all up, it’s just about everything she doesn’t get to do with any of the famous names she’s toured with.
Tal has an average voice, but it’s just fine for her set of mostly all original material. She has a wonderful stage presence that only adds to her charm. Her acoustic ballad “One Thing After Another” was especially touching. Her newly released single “Corner Painter” was well received. Her cover of the Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now” was a surprise, inclusive of a masterful bass solo just in case you didn’t know she is quite the virtuoso.
Though only 29 years old, she’s been on the world wide music scene for at least a dozen years now. It’s safe to say we’ll be seeing and hearing much more of her work, be it solo or alongside well-respected musicians twice her age.