***PRESS 2022***


eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazzenzo Magazine Nederland (27/04/2022)
Met een repertoire dat hoofdzakelijk samengesteld is uit traditionals afkomstig van de regio rond de Zwarte Zee, laten Sanem Kalfa, Joachim Badenhorst en George Dumitriu op 'Black Sea Songs' akoestische instrumenten en electronics op naadloze wijze samenvloeien rond de zang van Kalfa. Wie de diverse talen niet machtig is, verliest allerminst de dieptegang van de muziek. De vocalen worden namelijk ook als instrument aangewend en integreren volledig met de rest, aangevuld met spaarzame elektronische effecten.

Opener ‘Babamin Atmalari’ bevat het allemaal, deze haast geruisloze symbiose. In totaal tien nummers die zwevend voorbijglijden als schimmen in een mistgordijn. Luister maar eens naar de zacht strelende zang met sensuele ondertoon in ‘Vertskhlis Tasadamts Maktsia’ waarin basklarinet en lichtere ruiseffecten een beschermend cocon vormen. Met het meer dansbare ‘Nani Nani Oy’ zetten ze onmiskenbaar een stap richting de volksmuziek van Thracië en Epidaurus. We horen echter vooral een overwegend etherische soundtrack met uiterst ingetogen momenten zoals ‘Cântec de la Marea Neagr?’, waarin het lijkt of Badalamenti zich waagt aan een bewerking van een lied uit het erfgoed van Hildegard van Bingen.

Uitgebracht als digipack met een kunstwerk van Johanna Overmeir. Een release uit een enigszins onverwachte hoek voor het Gentse label el NEGOCITO dat met dit nummer 102 intussen een indrukwekkende catalogus kan voorleggen.

eNR069: in memoriam global village by Gunda Gottschalk, Xu Feng Xia & Peter Jacquemyn
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (15/04/2022)
I recall fondly when Gunda Gottschalk contacted me in the mid 1990’s to play a solo set at DMG. She was already a part of Peter Kowald’s workshop ensemble and came to play the gig with her mother in tow. Her set was great and I caught her again at the Victo in a group with Peter Kowald, as well as in duos with Xu Feng Xia & Peter Jacquemyn, as well as in a trio with Mr. Kowald or Joe Fonda on bass. I’ve also seen & heard German bassist, Peter Jacquemyn, who also once played at DMG in a duo with vocalist Anna Homler. This disc is dedicated to the late great bassist & free/spirit traveler Peter Kowald who passed away suddenly in NYC in 2002. Mr. Kowald called his workshop/ensemble Global Village and all three members of this trio were involved in it.
The music here is most extraordinary, high-end ethnic string trio improv at its best. Ms. Feng Xia’s guzheng (Chinese plucked zither) has a rich sound, not unlike plucking the strings inside a piano or an acoustic harp. While the violin and contrabass are somewhat similar in sound and the way the strings are played (plucked, rubbed or bowed), the guzeng adds another dimension which is rich in timbre and tone. All three musicians here also vocalize at times adding other colors to the evolving rainbow of sounds, at times adding some exciting exclamations. There are moments when all three musicians play together, push each other, exchanging ideas and erupt into a joyous organic chaos. I recall several solo contrabass sets by Peter Kowald (once at DMG) in which he chanted those throat-singing sounds into his bass, the affect was quite hypnotic. This trio also moved into similar dark waters at times with some eerie sounds from all three players. There are moments here when thing erupt and the excitement grows more intense. Considering that this is an all acoustic trio of strings with sparse voices, one might think that this is closer to modern chamber music, which it is at times. Since these three musicians enjoying going further out, it is a wonderful to go along for the inner roller coaster ride.

eNR093: s/t by Rorschach
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (15/04/2022)
These sessions were recorded in July & August of 2017, at Linster Studios in Luxemberg. The is certainly a unique combinations of instruments: 2 pianists and 2 drummers. each member of this quartet has traveled in similar circles: Mr. Vermeulen & Mr. Thielemans have both worked with Lynn Cassiers & Hugo Antunes (CDs on Clean Feed), Mr. Gebruers in a trio with Paul Lovens & Hugo Antunes and Mr. Thielmans with Jozef Dumoulin & Billy Hart). The el Negocito label recently released a disc featured two prepared pianos, hence they seem to be the perfect label for this equally unique quartet. I don’t think that this particular quartet had worked together before but they do sound superb together on this disc. There are several layers and/or waves coalescing together here, one piano playing at the high end & speeding up while the other piano slows down to some more quirky interaction. Sometimes one of the drummers plays tightly with one of the pianists, while the other pianist & drummer also play together. Other times all four players criss-cross, with varied interaction which keeps changing throughout. There are also times when things are stripped down and more sparse, the interplay still exciting and evolving. On the back of this disc, there are spaces left for the listener to add their own titles to each of the 7 pieces. An interesting idea worth considering.

eNR085: Yo Anpil by Désir & Fiorini
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (15/04/2022)
Belgian jazz and classical pianist, Fabian Fiorini, has several recordings with different collaborators like Frederic Rzewski, MikMaak, the Baba Sissoko Ensemble and Octurn, all pretty obscure except for Mr. Rzewski (member of MEV & great composer/pianist in his own right). I hadn’t heard of vocalist Renette Desir before now. The songs on this disc include covers of Duke Ellington & Max Roach/Oscar Brown, some traditional songs and some originals. Since the liner notes are in Belgium, I can’t tell what they say. The music, however, is superb. The songs remind me of Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht. Mr. Fiorini plays muted piano underneath Ms. Desir’s spirited vocals. The piano sounds like there is a ping pong ball occasionally bouncing inside, or is that some digital distortion?!? Ms. Desir has dark skin and is wearing an African dress on the back of the CD. She reminds me of Lotte Lenya but with more soul, less show-tune sound-wise. Ms. Desir has a wonderfully expressive voice and sounds a bit crazed at times, with several odd voices or characters at her disposal. Before I put this disc in my CD player, I wasn’t so sure that I would dig a duo of voice and piano. I was wrong and I find this disc to be oddly enchanting. Mr. Fiorini’s muted piano playing is also well utilized throughout and never used for odd effects. We never know when that next unexpected gem will show up. Here it is!

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Jean-Claude Vantroyen, Le Soir Mad p.24 (13/04/2022) **
A 40 ans, l’Anversois Joachim Badenhorst est un des souffleurs les plus éclectiques et les plus demandés en Europe : clarinette, clarinette basse, saxophones. Il s’intéresse plutôt au jazz d’avant-garde et à l’improvisation, mais tout le passionne. Le folk de la mer Noire avec la chanteuse turque Sanem Kalfa et le guitariste roumain George Dumitriu, très agréable album coloré, modulé, émouvant.

eNR097: LOI by Raf Vertessen Quartet
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (08/04/2022)
I'm not so sure when Belgian drummer Raf Vertessen moved to NY, but he has played here at DMG on several occasions. This is Mr. Vertessen's first release as a leader and he has picked a strong quartet: Anna Webber (multi-bandleader, composer & collaborator with Dave Douglas, Harris Eisenstadt & others) on tenor sax, Adam O'Farrill (grandson of Latin/jazz legend Chico O'Farrill & member of several bands: Mary Halvorson, Gabriel Zucker) and young bass wiz Nick Dunston (with Dave Douglas, Amirtha Kidambi & Zack Clarke).

So far, Mr. Vertessen has done mostly improvised sets here at DMG but he did compose and direct this quartet. The title track, "LO1", begins with a sprawling theme for the tenor and trumpet to play with dream-like harmonies while Mr. Vertessen plays somber mallets in slow waves as the quartet comes together, rising and falling as one. Vertessen is a master mallets player and sounds great at creating an organic pulse or throb with Dunston's bass to ground the great tenor sax/trumpet frontline. The quartet expand freely on "#1", building to an intense yet tightly wound conclusion. On each piece, Vertessen gets the two horns to switch positions or directions, thus keeping the band and listeners on their toes to figure out which strategies are being utilized. Both Ms. Webber's tenor and Mr. O'Farrill's trumpet play warm one moment and then twist their notes in odd ways in the next section. When I listened to this disc at the store earlier this week, I liked what I heard but couldn't pay too much attention. Now that I am listening to it at home without distractions, it sounds even better with several layers of songs or ideas moving around one another in a more connected way. And more is revealed each time I listen.

eNR047: Lomahongva by Warped Dreamer
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (08/04/2022)
Warped Dreamer features Arve Henriksen on trumpet, flute & voice, Stian Westerhus on guitar, Jozef Dumoulin on Fender Rhodes and Teun Verbruggen on drums with all four also playing some electronics. This is a half Belgian, half Norwegian quartet with each member coming from very different collaborations. I recall all of their name from different places: Arve Henriksen (various bands on Rune Grammofon), Stian Westerus (Bushman's Revenge & w/ Sidsel Endresen), Jozef Dumoulin (w/ Haino Keiji & Bureau of Atomic Tourism) and Teun Verbruggen (BoAT & Flat Earth Society). An odd mix to be sure. This is a live recording from January of 2015 done in Antwerp, Belgium. This disc starts off with some brooding, spacious, swirling sounds, suspense-filled Jon Hassell-like trumpet, dark, rumbling electric piano, swirling drums and ghost-like electronics all interwoven and moving in cosmic waves. There are several layers of electronic sounds which keep shifting like organic winds. Since all four members play electronics, there are a variety of odd, strange electronic sounds & soundscapes which are also woven together and shift through different moods or scenes. I dig the multi-layered electronic sections here since they are well put together and are not too difficult to listen to, mostly fascinating to behold. Mr. Henriksen takes a couple of splendid dreamy solos which seem to float out of the ether. The balance between all of the disparate elements here are especially effective throughout our trip.

eNR041: Live at La Resistenza by Dikeman Parker Drake
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (08/04/2022)
American-born saxist, John Dikeman, has been living in the Netherlands for a decade or so, recording with various Dutch, other European & American musicians. Mr. Dikeman has led a few of his own bands like Cactus Truck and the Universal Indians. Since the beginning of this year (2022), Mr. Dikeman has toured & recorded with two top rhythm teams: Pat Thomas, John Edwards & Steve Noble (for 577 Records) and with William Parker & Hamid Drake. This disc was recorded live on tour at La Resistenza ib Ghent, Belgium in May of 2014. William Parker and Hamid Drake are considered to be the best free/avant/jazz rhythm team, longtime working together in numerous bands with Peter Brotzmann, David S Ware, Fred Anderson, Paul Dunmall and Charles Gayle. Right from the opening salvo, the trio takes off. Mr. Dikeman has a strong, dark, blustery tone on tenor, digging deeply into the Trane-like world of flurries, bent notes and occasional sax screams. William Parker and Hamid Drake often sound like they are joined at the hip in the way they work together as one spiritual force, building up as the intensity increases and calming down as well. Mr. Dikeman has a unique way of bending & twisting certain notes out, reaching for the stars at times while he also keeps tone warm yet probing. for those who you who still favor Free/Sprit Music at its best, this is another treasure to warm to.

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Ben Taffijn, Nieuwe Noten Nederland (07/04/2022)
De Vlaming Joachim Badenhorst slaat zijn vleugels steeds verder uit. Met klarinet, basklarinet, tenor saxofoon en sinds enige jaren ook elektronica zoekt hij zijn weg in het brede veld van jazz en aanverwante muzieksoorten ver buiten zijn landsgrenzen. Toen Badenhorst in 2020, samen met de Turkse vocaliste Sanem Kalfa en de Roemeense gitarist en altviolist George Dumitriu ‘Black Sea Songs’ opnam, kon hij natuurlijk niet bevroeden hoe actueel dit album, een ode aan de Zwarte Zee, waar niet alleen Turkije en Roemenië aan grenzen, maar ook Oekraïne en Rusland, nu zou zijn. Een zee op het kruispunt tussen culturen, tussen noord en zuid en tussen Europa en Azië, het komt terug op dit veelzijdige album, waarop we ook direct een geheel andere Badenhorst horen. Een prachtige, soms wat melancholieke klankwereld creëren de drie hier, met hun instrumenten, de elektronica die ze alle drie beheersen en die prachtige stem van Kalfa, waarin de Turkse traditie volop in doorklinkt. Op twee stukken na kozen de drie voor bestaande, traditionele liederen, die echter een compleet nieuwe en eigentijdse invulling krijgen, luister bijvoorbeeld naar het bijzonder verfijnde ‘Vertskhlis Tasadamts Maktsia’, het spannend gebrachte ‘Ayna Ayna Ellere’, het heerlijk felle ‘Pipilomatina’ of het ietwat abstracte ‘Dereler’. Een groots album.

eNR084: The Room: Time & Space by Seppe Gebruers, Hugo Antunes & Paul Lovens
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (25/02/2022)
German Free/Jazz drum legend, Paul Lovens, has played with many of the elders of this music: Cecil Taylor, Alex Von Schlippenbach & Evan Parker, as well as with a long list of gifted improvisers from all over: Dr. Chadbourne, John Russell and Mats Gustafsson. Mr. Lovens also works with a number of lesser known, up & coming players, two of which are heard here. Bassist, Hugo Antunes, can be found on several discs on the Clean Feed label, working with Nate Wooley, Rafael Toral & Chris Corsano. I hadn’t heard of pianist Seppe Gebruers before now. In the liner notes by Paul Lovens, Lovens mentions how certain “rooms” have their spirit or vibe, helping us humans to capture what we do in those spaces and making certain events more special. This session was recorded in February of 2016 at “ke nona” in Mechelen in Belgium. Mr. Gebruers plays two grand pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart, hence dealing with microtonal explorations. This sounds like a live recording and it has superb, warm, clean sound. Each piece is named with the word “Room” with a number attached. “Room 1” is subtle and sparse, well-balanced and sonically stunning. Mr. Gebruers is playing the keyboard of one piano while plucking the strings inside the other piano for a section. Eventually, the pace quickens and the sounds become more intense, more brittle for a period of time. I like the way these pieces unfold and evolve. I’ve caught Paul Lovens live many occasions playing with Doc Chad, the Schlippenbach/Evan Parker Trio and with Cecil Taylor. Mr. Lovens has a most distinctive sound/approach. He is at the center of this wonderful, mesmerizing trio. Wee worth exploring.

eNR079: Square Talks by Paul Van Gysegem Quintet
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (25/02/2022)
It turns out that bassist Paul Van Gysegem, the leader here, once had a sextet whose only (?) other album was recorded in early 1971, which is fifty years ago this year. Now, Mr. Van Gysegem has a new quintet release which includes one member of his previous band from 1/2 century ago, percussionist Marek Patrman. I know very little about saxist Cel Overberghe or trumpeter Patrick de Groote. Pianist Erik Vermeulen has played with the Hugo Antunes Group as well as with Lynn Cassiers (all for the Clean Feed label). From reading the liner notes I found that all of these musicians have been around a long while, although not consistently within the new music scene. This session was recorded live at JazzCase in Pelt, Belgium, in September of 2019. The music here does sound mature, thoughtful, crafty and filled with surprising twists and turns. Although the music is mainly improvised, everything sounds connected. Mr. Van Gysegem’s bass is often at the center of the action, no matter when it is sparse or (rarely) busy. The piece is called “Brisk” and it does sound like the tempo is brisk when it begins. There is quite a bit of heated and oft intense interaction going on here with the sax, trumpet and piano all swirling tightly around one another. Episodes like this are often followed by careful, spare, eerie piano, bass & drums sections. Trumpeter De Groote sounds particularly fine, using sly bits of reverb for his unique sound. One of the main things I like about this disc is that although it is free improv, the music is rarely very out or too free, there are more melodic or easier to follow lines in the way things unfold. This sounds like a sign of maturity since many musicians start off playing freely with a need to make some Fire Music or intense free soaring. There is a certain warmth and sublime balance of the elements on this disc. If you’ve never or rarely heard “free” music, this would be a great place to start.

eNR098: live at Padova by lauroshilau
Darren Bergstein, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (25/02/2022)
Live At Padova (el Negocito ERN098; Belgium) Lauroshilau is a fairly new collective on the free improv scene, but on evidence of the sounds erupting from this recording, further notoriety will be quickly forthcoming. Comprised of Audrey Lauro (alto sax and preparations), Pak Yan Lau (toy pianos, synth, and electronics), and Yuko Oshima (drums), theirs is a deceptively calculating music that creeps up on you slowly before it devours you, like lava quietly devastating an unsuspecting mountainside. Great drama seems to build with a careful, scary methodology, as Lauro’s squeaks and spittle look for glimpses of light in between Lau's horrorshow digitalics. Yes, there is that much portentousness in this music, the kind of atmospheric dread so little seen in improv, and this record, made the more startling that it was recorded live, must have left its audience not only rapt but gripped by fear. When Oshima strikes gongs and assorted other drums and surfaces, it provides something of a psychic bridge between the listener’s ears and their vivid, frenzied imaginations. As galvanizing as the wayward landscape of the initial twenty-five-minute-plus first part is, Lovecraftian in form and fleet in execution, the trio taking us across blasted earth reeking with the acrid smell of particle decay, it’s the second part which is ultimately the more gripping of the two. Lauro’s sax occasionally sounds ’normalized’ but the errant noises conjured still feel like alien probes poking at the skin. Lau's electronics, all metallic hushes and burnt chrome, make for some of the more chilling sci-fi modulations to be seen in the genre in many a moon. And Oshima’s well-chosen trills, strikes, and reverberations sound like they’re literally captured from deep within the bowels of the Nostromo, taking baby steps in anticipation of what might suddenly descend from the chain forest. Startling, provocative, ever-surprising, keep a sharp eye on this freeform triumvirate of terror, for a brave, confrontational noise is what they surely make.

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Rinus Van Der Heijden, Jazz Nu (23/02/2022)
In één woord; adembenemend. Dat is de conclusie na het beluisteren van ‘Black Sea Songs', waarop tien oude liederen uit een omvangrijk gebied rond de Zwarte Zee worden vertolkt door een zangeres, een gitarist/violist en een klarinettist.

De zangeres is Sanem Kalfa, de gitarist/altviolist George Dumitriu en de klarinettist Joachim Badenhorst. Zij komt uit Turkije, de anderen uit respectievelijk Roemenië en België. Die afkomsten zijn belangrijk, want het gaat hier om bewerkte volksmuziek, geplukt uit de landen rond de Zwarte Zee, zoals in het westen ervan Bulgarije, Roemenië en Oekraïne, Rusland en Georgië in het oosten en Turkije in het zuiden.

Dat impliceert dat de drie uitvoerenden muziek hebben gekozen van Turkse, Georgische, Laziose (Italiaanse), Roemeense, Pontus Griekse en Tataarse oorsprong. Een op papier onwaarschijnlijke opgave, maar door de volstrekt eigentijdse aanpak van het trio, een uiterst geslaagde. Want de oervorm van de liederen blijft onaangetast, door de instrumentatie en gespecificeerder nog, de toevoeging van delicate elektronica wordt een hedendaagse muziekvorm ontwikkeld die je keihard bij je lurven grijpt.

Keihard in de zin van bevrijdend en vreugdevol. Sanem Kalfa schept een intimiteit die haar gelijke niet kent, ze voert je op een zachte bries eeuwen terug naar een primitieve vorm van communiceren die echter na al die honderden jaren nog niets aan muzikale betekenis heeft ingeboet. Sanem Kalfa’s breekbare inzet van haar stem wordt afgewisseld met een uitbundig gebruik ervan, waarin ze jodelt, de bovengrens ervan aftast, lange uithalen over de muziek van de andere twee uitsmeert en ze tegelijk dirigeert en dwingt.

Die ‘andere’ twee zijn beslist haar gelijken. George Dumitriu is meer dan een bespeler van akoestische en elektrische gitaren en altviool, je mag hem met recht een multi-instrumentalist noemen. Ook al beperkt hij zich hier tot de drie eerder vermelde instrumenten. De effecten die hij toevoegt zijn ijzersterk en zeker gebouwd op de ervaring die hij opdeed door meer muziekgereedschap ter hand te nemen. De klarinet van Joachim Badenhorst maakt de muziek áf. Een klarinet is natuurlijk geen vreemde eend in de bijt als het om Oost-Europese volksmuziek gaat. Hier past hij niet alleen naadloos binnen het concept, de klarinet vlecht smaakvolle en soms zinsbegoochelende frases toe aan de verrichtingen van de andere twee. Badenhorsts inbreng van live-elektronica trekt de tien liederen steeds maar weer over ondenkbare grenzen.

Badenhorst en Dumitriu schromen niet om vrijelijk uit hun schulp te barsten. De compositie Pipilomatina is er een fraai voorbeeld van: het intro met een jankende altviool en een ploppende basklarinet is bijna een hommage aan het Revolutionary Ensemble van violist Leroy Jenkins, zij het – helaas – een korte.

Maar niet getreurd, de cd Black Sea Songs is een tijdbom van uiterst accurate, eigentijdse vertaling van eeuwenoud erfgoed. Dat in de handen van deze drie improviserende musici nieuwe eeuwigheidswaarde meekrijgt. Laat hem in hemelsnaam talloze malen exploderen, en telkenmale zul je er geen spijt van krijgen.

eNR091: Hōryū-ji by Sakata / Yermenoglou / Di Domenico / Damianidis
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (18/02/2022)
I am a longtime fan of Japanese saxist (& marine microbiologist) Akira Sakata, who has collaborated with many other giants: Pete Cosey, Bill Laswell, Peter Brotzmann, Andrea Centazzo & Jim O’Rourke. The only other member of this quartet that I know of previously is pianist Giovanni Di Domenico, who has recorded with Mr. Sakata on (at least) 2 previous discs. The only other member of this quartet to be found in the DMG database is Christos Yermenoglou who is a member of the Greek ensemble Musica Lonatana, who have a CD out on the Leo label.
This disc was recorded May of 2018 at the Duende Jazz Club in Thessaloniki, Greece. From the opening salvo, the quartet is playing freely, intense, focused, powerful with all four members fully engaged. Mr. Sakata has a unique, stunning, somewhat brittle tone on his sax, reaching deeper & deeper as the quartet erupt intensely together. When Sakata eventually finishes hi solo, the piano & guitar take off for some strong, spirited interplay, both exchanging furious lines with the drummer navigating from the center of the storm. Guitarist Damiandis takes the next solo and shows that he is also a force to be reckoned with as his solo is striking, jazz/rock frenzied lines with select sustain for his own distinctive tone. The quartet calm down midway for a more restrained section which features Sakata’s more controlled note-bending sax and Di Domenico’s superb near-majestic piano. I was thinking that: is there something in this music which would have us think that there is some Greek music influence, but decided that this not really the case. “Free Music” has its own unique language which goes beyond words, lyrics and obvious references. Still, this is Free Music at its best.

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (18/02/2022)
This trio is similar in instrumentation to another trio the Mr. Badenhorst worked with a few years back called Equilibrium, which also featured a vocalist, a guitarist and Mr. Badenhorst on reeds. Although I hadn’t heard of Sanem Kalfa or George Dumitriu, it turns out that Ms. Kalfa has worked with Kaja Draksler & has a solo effort out while Mr. Dumitriu has worked with the Dutch couple Ig Henneman & Ab Baars as well as also with Kaja Draksler. All songs on this disc are traditional excpet for one by Ms. Sanem and one by another female composer called Elena Chirica-Tesa. This disc was recorded in a studio in Istanbul, Turkey (where Ms. Kalfa hails) and mixed in Amsterdam, Netherlands (where the trio lives I believe). Although I am not so certain but most of these songs are traditional Turkish ones. Right from the first piece, “Babamin Atmalari”, Ms. Kalfa’s voice is most enchanting as is/are the delightful melodies she sings. Ms. Kalfa is backed by subtle clarinet, plucked strings and hushed yet eerie electronics or effects. When Ms. Kalfa stops singing midway, the rest of the trio take off into some etherial space. Each of the traditional songs feature Ms. Kalfa’s enchanting (sensuous, solemn, sublime) voice at the center with often subtle yet quirky & inventive playing from her two collaborators. “Nani Nani Oy” reminds me of those wonderful Klez/middle eastern sounding songs which were popular in the Downtown Scene circa mid-nineties (like the Tiny Bell Trio or Pachora). One of the main highlights here is the way Ms. Kalfa’s voice is captured and at times, slightly manipulated with some subtle effects. Mr. Kalfa’s voice is warm, sad at times and especially mesmerizing. This entire discs is a pure delight, one of the most enchanting discs I’ve heard in a long while.

el NEGOCITO Records labelel NEGOCITO Records
Bruce Lee Gallanter, the Downtown Music Gallery NY (18/02/2022)
I really admire this label

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Ken Vos, Jazzism Nederland (17/02/2022)
Vocaliste Kalfa en gitarist/altviolist zijn vaste waarden in de Nederlandse improscene en hebben hier als rode draad verschillende volksliederen rond de Zwarte Zee genomen. Zo zingt Kalfa in tenminste vier talen (voor zover ik herken Georgisch, Lazi, Turks en Roemeens) waarin niet zo zeer de diversiteit van een deel van de verschillende culturen in dat gebied aan bod komt, als wel dat de emotionele overeenkomsten gezien vanuit de zangeres hier een leidende rol spelen. Dumitriu is vooral vindingrijk schepper van sferen, achtergrondkleuren en extra muzikale lagen. De rol van klarinettist Joachim Badenhorst is die van een vrije agent die heel goed de Oost-Europese en turkse klankconventies verweeft met jazzvocabulaire. ook al versta je niets van de teksten, de levensvreugde spat er van af.

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Yves tassin, JazzMania (13/01/2022)
Ces trois musiciens-là ont déjà pas mal voyagé. Prenez George Dumitriu… Reconnu en qualité d’altiste au service de la musique classique, il troque régulièrement son instrument au profit d’une six cordes et de quelques effets qui en font un musicien de jazz apprécié. D’origine roumaine, il a fini par atterrir à Amsterdam où il vit à l’heure actuelle. Tout comme sa complice, Sanem Kalfa, avec laquelle il a enregistré l’album « Dance », en duo, il y a quelques années. Pour sa part, Sanem Kalfa est une musicienne d’origine turque dont le chant, chargé d’émotion, ne vous laissera pas indifférent. Enfin, l’Anversois Joachim Badenhorst (clarinette, saxophone et quelques effets électroniques) complète le trio entre deux voyages (il a vécu quelques temps à New York). Le projet « Black Sea Songs » est né d’une envie commune : démontrer que la Mer Noire n’est pas l’étendue d’eau sombre que l’on se représente… D’ailleurs, une mer, c’est bleu, vert, parfois gris… Jamais noir ! La Mer Noire connecte culturellement entre eux des pays comme la Russie, la Turquie, l’Ukraine, la Roumanie ou encore la Bulgarie. C’est dans cette région qu’est née Sanem Kalfa, plus précisément dans la ville portuaire de Trabzon. Une région à laquelle le trio rend hommage en relisant avec humilité et à leur façon de vieilles chansons traditionnelles locales. A deux exceptions près, le répertoire de l’album se compose en effet de ces rengaines nées « quelque part à l’Est », entre les vagues et les côtes. Une interprétation chargée d’émotion, de justesse, qui illumine ce folklore comme un phare réconfortant qui balaie une mer agitée. Magnifique !

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Jacques Prouvost, Jazzques (13/01/2022)
Tout autour de la Mer Noire, il y a Varna, Istanbul, Sotchi, Odessa... Quand on est face à la mer, on n’a qu’une envie, c’est de la traverser. C’est ainsi que des musiques d’une rive se retrouvent parfois sur l’autre. La chanteuse turque Sanem Kalfa, le guitariste et violoniste roumain George Dumitriu et le clarinettiste belge Joachim Badenhorst font un melting-pot de chansons traditionnelles, pleines d’histoires, de rêves et de douleurs, et les réinventent. Effets électroniques éthérés se mélangent aux sons des instruments acoustiques et aux vocalises envoûtantes. Étonnant, touchant, dépaysant… Frissons garantis.

Around the Black Sea, there is Varna, Istanbul, Sochi, Odessa... When facing the sea, all you want is to cross it. That's how music from one river is sometimes on the other. Turkish singer Sanem Kalfa, Romanian guitarist and violinist George Dumitriu and Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst make a melting pot of traditional songs, full of stories, dreams and pains, and they reinvent them. Ethereal electronic effects blend with acoustic instruments and enchanting vocalists. Amazing, touching, heart breaking... Cold drinks guaranteed.

eNR102: Black Sea Songs by Sanem Kalfa, George Dumitriu, Joachim Badenhorst
Gerrit Valckenaers, de Keuze van Klara (10/01/2022)
Black Sea Songs is een selectie traditionele muziek uit de landen rond de Zwarte zee

Waarom moet u dit horen?
Sanem Kalfa, Joachim Badenhorst & George Dumitriu bewerkten hun materiaal met liefde voor de traditie, maar met evenveel avontuur. Deze briljante muzikanten mixen organisch Balkanklarinetten met jazz en electronica. Een van de mooiste platen van 2021.