AUTUMN IN NEW YORK Presents Eclectic New Artist in Pangea
The wonderful thing about living and writing in New York City is seeing some of the greatest jazz artists in the world. And as exciting as it is, what really makes New York City such a chrysalis of artistic endeavor is not the big names, it’s all the talented and budding artists learning their craft and having daring experiments on the way to the top. Our little 12 mile island is the perfect laboratory for a young voice to watch the most successful artists and take a track here and take a track there until they’ve completely found their own voice.
Jacob Khalil is a fairly recent resident of New York. He moved here just a year ago after spending time in Texas, Utah and Las Vegas. His style is remarkably eclectic. Basically he is a jazz artist, but he also dabbles in pop music on the piano, standards and live performance pieces. He is also very comfortable as a singer / songwriter. Jacob Khalil is exactly the musician New York was designed for. He is a very talented singer looking for an individual voice.
His show last night at the Pangea Jacob Khalil TRIO: AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, was a wonderful showcase of the many styles and facets of his musical gifts. Her voice is an incredibly pleasant asset. It’s a soft, lyrical, string-like instrument that he uses in a very dexterous way for someone so young. He has a keen sense of phrasing that emphasizes the lyrics without becoming too “actor”. His pianistic style tends to be more of the percussive than lyrical school, emphasizing large block chords that create a soundscape rather than intricate internal lines. His trio, consisting of himself and Raul Reyes on bass and Donovan Taylor on drums, worked as a tight-knit unit.
They opened with one of the most popular jazz standards, “Misty”. He gave a great spin to Gershwin’s classic, “S’wonderful” and gave a delicious samba treatment to Astrud Gilberto’s “Dreamer”. He really shone on Johnny Mercer’s iconic “Skylark”. He explained that he is often a piano bar performer, and like anyone who takes requests for a living, Billy Joel is asked a lot. The trio gave us a version of “Just the Way You Are” with just a little jazz twist to keep it interesting. He gave us real Broadway flair with “Almost Like Being in Love”, alternative rock in Radiohead’s “High & Dry” and good R&B in Stevie Wonder’s Knocks Me Off My Feet.
As wonderful as these great jazz and pop tunes are, the place where Jacob Khalil and his trio really took to was in the songs written by Khalil himself. He has a knack for melody and an unfailing ease with romantic lyrics that are heartwarming to listen to. He sang a song that is both a tribute and a parody of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”, that bane of every piano bar artist’s existence. His song “Piano Guy” tells us the same experience from a more jaded point of view. His song “Flame” is a very well built song about love and desire. âI Never Knewâ is about how love unexpectedly grows in a relationship. It was dedicated to his wife Victoria. Last night he also gave us the world premiere of a song he just finished this week. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” has the kind of hook every songwriter dreams of.
I can’t wait to see what a second year in New York will do for Jacob Khalil. I hope he brings us more of his own original, inventive and heartfelt tunes. He’s an artist on the verge of finding a very personal style. He and his trio deserve a dedicated audience.
For more information on Jacob Khalil, visit his website jaobkhalil.com or follow him @jacobkhalilmusic on Instagram. His music is available on Spotify, Apple Music and all major streaming platforms. For other great events in Pangea, visit pangeanyc.com