Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers
Full Price (47 mins)
UK based Israeli bassist Daphna Sadeh has been making music at the frontline of jazz and Jewish music for many years, and in this, her third full length album and first on John Zorn’s pioneering Tzadik label, it sounds as though she has finally found a home worthy of her talents: this must be one of the most approachable and swinging releases in the whole catablogue. Granted, there is nothing groundbreaking in her cherry-picking of Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Arabic traditions, but you can tell she has spent time bringing together a band who really bring out the best in each other. On the first track ‘Queen of Sheba’, Eddie Hession’s light-fingered accordion opens the record with a jaunty step that stays with you throughout; multi-talented clarinettist Stewart Curtis has been in many bands over the years, but has never sounded better, letting rip on the delicate arrangement of the liturgical song ‘Avinu’ with a flair that would put much bigger US names to shame. Every one of her compositions sings, and percussionist Ronen Kozokaro, guitarist Ivor Goldberg and trombonist Mark Bassey form a tight unit that never misses a beat. In this passionate, highly accessible record, Sadeh has obviously found her voice as a stylish composer and bandleader with a talent for making the complicated sound extraordinarily simple. Recommended.