2012 is fast turning into the year of the guitarist and I'm perfectly fine with that, especially when it involves the latest release from Albare and iTD titled Long Way.
This incredible sextet features harmonica giant Hedrik Meurkens along with drummer Antonio Sanchez and tenor titan George Garzone and that my friends is just the half of it.
Wes Montgomery inspired George Benson. Try to imagine a harmonic middle ground with a bit more bite to it and you have the Albare's Long Way. iTD has a distinct cosmopolitan flair, modern jazz guitar goes global and with impeccable style. A somewhat conceptualized release with iTD standing for International Travel Diary and the basic theme being that of a celebration of human adventure. "Cut To The Chase" opens Long Way with Hendrik Meurkens adding a slightly more European flavor to this modern jazz gem. Albare is a methodical technician yet with a warm harmonic feel to his solo work on this particular tune. Leo Genovese on piano and Evripidis Evripidou on bass add the subtle nuances to give this tune an open ended direction. Genovese gives a jaw dropping performance painting from a rich sonic color palette. "Funky Girl" is a slightly blues infused tune where Albare shines. Clean, precise and an angular attack to the melody finds Albare and tenor saxophonist George Garzone creating a sonic synchronicity that is rare at best. A tune with massive cross over appeal and the elusive three dimensional sound scape that is pure flavor. "Moving On" closes Long Way as an introspective exploratory where Meurkens again adds a deceptively subtle world music feel to this gem. The sextet is one of the finest from a standpoint of obvious chemistry, Albare possesses the ability to shift meter at will while never losing his lyrical momentum. A truly stunning recording from opening to close.
Albare was born in Morocco and throughout his life has apparently transformed his skill into that of a musical sponge. Growing up in Israel and France found Albare becoming fluent in French, English, Hebrew and Spanish. Heads began turning in Albare's direction when at the age of 27 he moved to Australia and began to make a name for himself in the growing Acid Jazz scene.
An all star sextet with one of the most impressive guitar releases for the year. A most unique personal hybrid of global textures combined with the more traditional forms and functionality of modern jazz. An absolute favorite for 2012!
Tracks: Cut To The Chase; Eagle's Way; Long Way; Funky Girl; Now and Then; You Make Me Smile; Love Again; Moving On.
Personnel: Albare: guitars; Antonio Sanchez: drums; Evripidis Evripidou: electric bass, acoustic guitar; George Garzone: tenor saxophone; Hendrik Meurkens: harmonica; Leo Genovese: piano.
AVAILABLE Oct. 9th 2012