CD review: Walking the Thin Line – Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers

Local Cambridgeshire Artist
This second release by Israeli bassist Daphna Sadeh brings together a culturally rich upbringing and well travelled musical experience into a 10-track album.

The work is a journey from start to finish which kicks off with the lively title track, while the second piece is a contemplative tango which soon develops into a lively rumba and although ending abruptly, aptly sets the platform for the Bedouin kick beat of Debka; An eastern, funky and textured dance number performed with a level of virtuosity from a great collection of musicians.

By the 4th track Voyagers Song; one begins to understand why the Voyagers are called thus. The delicate, deep and sensitive Oud playing conjures up images of Moorish Spain and momentarily reveals the roots of classical Spanish guitar. The Sephardic Jewish story then travels east, stopping for a brief klezmatic jazz ballad moment before continuing on. Kurdish singer Nawroz Oramari brings a breathtaking traditional improvisation and haunting middle-eastern sense of longing to the tale.

The journeys pace picks up with the Klezmer dance of My Russian Heart that breaks down into a 5/8-time groove with a soulful clarinet solo from reed and woodwind maestro, Stewart Curtis.

By the point at which the Egyptian Aziza arrives, the album has now travelled the whole way eastwards around the Mediterranean, which is richly expressed in Out of Border. Daphna's instrumental voice arrives to speak in the penultimate track Dreams Hunter. Night falls and dreams take a charmed shape in the interplay between the flute, double bass and percussion.

The last tune pulls in and it's all aboard the Night Train to the East. As it disembarked with its mix of Middle-Eastern and Moroccan triplets, I had already decided to play the album again. I did so, but this time to my mother, who exclaimed; ‘great music'. Which is a good sign, as usually she doesn't say anything.

Writer: Gil Karpas

Daphna Sadeh is an Israeli-born musician and composer now based in Cambridge, playing a blend of Arabic, Jewish, Mediterranean Sephardic, Eastern European, Klezmer and jazz. This is her second album with her band, The Voyagers, which she also produced, and is released through 33 Records

Read our Innerview of Daphna here, or click here to have a chance of winning the new album.