Avishai Darash, from Israel, has been living in Amsterdam for some time.  In his compositions he combines elements of traditional music from North Africa, classical European music, American jazz and folk tunes from Israel.  This also reflects the cast for the current album.  It was played with the following musicians: Daniele Cappucci on double bass and Joan Terol Amigò on drums.  We also hear Karima El Fillali singing;  the violin plays Abderrahim Semlali and Ud Haytham Safia, creating a very shimmering sound color.


 Avi Darash studied at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance and earned his bachelor's degree before moving to New York City for some time to become friends with Brad Mehldau.  To continue his studies, he settled in Amsterdam to continue studying at the conservatory there.


 Currently, Avishai is a pianist and arranger with the Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra conducted by violinist Abderahim Semlali.  In this context, "Andalusian Echos" was created in 2017.


 First, let's say a few words to the composer and pianist himself on this album: "I've taken this album has been an exciting, scary and fulfilling one.  A journey which I still take and evolve with as an individual and as an artist.  I've chosen to blend my Middle Eastern heritage into my own;  Although I've tried to get it out of the way, I've got it. "


 "Jajouka" - written by Abderrahim Semlali and part of the repertoire of the Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra - opens the album.  Carried-autumnal and also wistful, this composition appears at the beginning.  This changes as the ensemble performs a common "dance of joy" that can not clear the closeness to "Balkanova".  Sufi mind is m.  Not to discern E., once you look away from the recurring lines, which are similar to those of Sufis swaying in a trance.  In terms of rhythmic dynamics, it is also possible to see connections to Irish reel, apart from the vocal part and the lyrical interventions of Avi Darash.


 Below we hear first "About Her" and then "About Him".  The first piece was made years ago for the album "Impermanence", but this time released under another title.  Behavior is the key set.  Added to this is the well-painted bass, almost elegiac to characterize.  But then the composition picks up speed.  Sometimes, "About Her" even captivates with its almost excessive laxity and freshness, when you hear dancing patterns of sound.  A hint of departure is suggested when it sounds rather wistful at the end.


 In similar harmonious waters like "About Her" moves

 "About Him", recording classical European music.  Original sound, Avi Darash: "Darash develops melodic contours, which flow into a constantly bubbly one  Let the source think.  You can hear finely spun bass pluck.  Quite in the context of pop music moves "Earth Saung" and that is not due solely to the English-language poetry, but rather the harmonies and rhythms.  When listening to Dusty Springfield came to mind as well as Annie Lenox.  Coincidence?  Misunderstanding?


 With "New Vision" one has the impression that the Orient and the Occident merge with one another, as if the Tango focused on the Bandoneon and the dulcimer were interweaving loose Hungarian folk music with Arabic art music, thanks to Abderrahim Semlali and Haytham Safia.  Does one not have to think of the "Ode to Joy" in a title like "Joy"?  Avi Darash presents us tonal spring tides.  In addition one hears the fine soprano of Karima El Fillali.  The relation to "Singer / Songwriter" is quite obvious, right?


 Avi Darash wrote "Lullaby for Bendavid" for his son Bendavid.  It is a children's and lullaby at the same time, beyond Matthias Claudius, but still with classical connotation.  The trio shows its strength, the bassist can influence the harmonic lines, even if the melodic direction in Avi Darash and his black and white keys lies.  Figuratively speaking, the softness of the night seems to be gradually spreading in this nursery rhyme.


 As mentioned above, Avi Darash is definitely influenced by folklore.  In "Samskara" he has the Bulgarian dance Kopanitsa / Gankino Horo incorporated with a 11/8 time.  It is one of the rousing pieces of the album.  "Ten Sephiroth", set in 10/8, is at the end and creates a bridge between Jazz and Maqam.  The latter is above all genuine for Persian and Turkish music.  Characteristic is the underlying heptatonic scale or key.  And so ends the musical journey between West and East


Text © ferdinand dupuis-panther