I saw Eli Degibri once before, at a show case in Bremen and looked forward to yesterdays concert, as I did enjoy his sound and playing then and hoped a full show would be even more engaging than the 40 minutes he did then – and it was exactly as I expected: Degibri on saxes and his sidemen Tom Oren on piano, Tamir Shmerling on bass and Eviatar Slivnik on drums were cooking at Café Central in the centre of Madrid. Starting off with music from his latest album, ‘Cliff Hangin’ the quartet pushed the limits right from the start. Eli’s sound is deep and beautiful and perfect for powerful outbursts, with him shouting to himself and encouraging him and the others to go even deeper into the music and express themselves …One of the highlights here was his playing on the soprano sax in the wonderful ‘The Unknown Neighbour’! His band is tight and they seem to have a great understanding and communication. After playing some more cool compositions from Eli’s catalogue the band went into their forthcoming release, ‘Soul Station / A Tribute To Hank Mobley’, which is basically a re-make of the original Mobley album by the same name plus one new composition by Degibri – ‘Dear Hank’. To re-make a full album is an unusual statement – this is were I come from, what I like and what influenced me and this is as well what I can do with it now. And he totally makes the compositions his own … ‘Soul Station’ grooves and swings hard and ‘If I Lose You’ is a touching ballad with some beautiful playing on the night by Eli and Tom Oren. If you can’t see these guys live in your local club or festival, check out the new album, which will be out early October. Highly Recommended!
update: forthcoming releases include the first Okeh album by Norwegian singer Rebekka Bakken ‘Things You Leave Behind’, a wonderful collection of originals and covers, which will be released September 28th. A new label, new songs, that sound rougher and even more mature than before, edgier, with lyrics that matter to the writer/singer and as well produced by Rebekka, to make it sound the way she heard these songs. As a long time fan, I would say that this is one of her best albums so far and I recommend to listen to the full album of which for the time being the songs ‘Closer’, ‘True North’, Shelter’, the title song and the wonderful version of ‘Time After Time’, which Rebekka had for a while now in her live repertoire and thankfully recorded for this album, are my favourites. European tour dates will follow the release – don’t miss her!!!
Later in the year we will see German singer Lyambiko release ‘My Favourite Christmas Songs’, featuring classics like ‘River’ and ‘Driving Home For Christmas’.
November will see the release of the new Lisa Ekdahl album ‘More Of The Good’. All songs on the new album are written by Lisa together with her long-time collaborator Mathias Blomdahl. The first single of the album, ‘I Know You Love Me’, featuring Ibrahim Maalouf, is available now. Lisa will tour Scandinavia before the end of the year and the rest of Europe in 2019.
In preparation for early 2019 releases: young trumpet star Theo Croker with a truly powerful and modern new album and a brand-new recording by the Branford Marsalis Quartet, recorded in the studio in Australia earlier this year. More on these and other possible releases for 2019 soon.
New Releases I can recommend:
Madeleine Peyroux / Anthem – ‘Anthem’ is simply another wonderful Peyroux album, but this time with her own songs, with the exception of the title track, which is a beautiful Leonard Cohen composition. The rest she wrote with her producer Larry Klein, David Baerwald (of David & David fame) and others. And they all create an album of simplicity and honesty, with a focus on her distinctive vocals, with some true gems of songs, like ‘We might as well dance’ or ‘On My Own’ and ‘All My Heroes’. Can’t wait to hear these new songs live later this year – meanwhile I’ll listen to the album … and so should you!
Concerto Stella Matutina & Rolf Lislevand / Nuove Invenzioni – Now, this is something completely different: Lisleland (lute and guitar) with the Ensemble Concerto Stella Matutina are combining here baroque sounds and compositions with the jazz element of improvisation. Compositions from Handel to Stanko are on display and make musically sense in arrangement and performance. Weird maybe, but captivating, as the period instruments give way to modern instruments and sounds, as in ‘Intrada’. The medley of ‘La Spagna’ by Francesco da Milano (1497-1543) and ‘Suspended Variations’ by Thomas Stanko (1942-2018) is the highlight of the album, building up slowly to a wonderful finale – classic and jazz combined to create simply stunning music. Surprising!
Jeremy Ledbetter Trio / Got A Light? – pianist Ledbetter, known for his work with CaneFire and as a producer for David Rudder, will release his first trio album on September 21st and it features Canadian top musicians Rich Brown (Steve Coleman, Dapp Theory) on bass and drummer Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy). The trio recorded a powerful album of Ledbetter’s compositions and one cover: ‘Gift Shop’ by The Tragically Hip which is one of the highlights of this diverse album, next to ‘Amanecer’, ‘About Climbing Mountains’ and ‘The Tightrope Walker’! A strong debut – very promising!