Fjoralba Turku Quartet: Serene: Release Information
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Release Date: 13.01.2012
TT Catalogue No: 4563
Fjoralba Turku - Serene
The critics rave: “A remarkable debut!”, and “A discovery among female jazz singers in 2010”, about the singer Fjoralba Turku, who released her first CD, “Joshua”, one and a half years ago. Certainly, this was early praise for the promise she had made to transfer the songs and the language of her native country, Albania, into the cosmos of jazz, using her unexpectedly powerful and astonishingly mature voice. Astonishment is now turning into enthusiasm: Fjoralba Turku’s second album, “Serene”, confirms the praise and great expectations. She impressively demonstrates her greatest talent: Telling stories in song.
“I’ve taken a further step”, she says of herself, “because now I can work with my voice as confidently as with an instrument.” Indeed, the spectrum of stylistic devices and expression has grown once again and can be heard: Whether she is inspired by gospel harmonies, unusual intervals and uneven time-signatures of Albanian music as in the catchy, cheerful track “Joyfully”, or in “Lulzoj fusha”, a deeply sad lament which unfortunately is still topical about a son who has fallen in the war, which in turn moves us to tears with its classical intonation and a shot of pathos, or whether she touches upon the human, all-too-human South American bossa as in the snappy track “Purple Song”, or scats in unison with her accompaniment in finest bebop manner, or onomatopoetically almost floats, evoking the legendary vocalists, The Swingle Sisters – at all times it is her unmistakable, distinctive individual style that merges everything organically together.
“I was so confident and sure of myself that I dared to use my own literary inclinations”, Fjoralba Turku explains. She penned five of the tracks and five of the lyrics entirely or in part. In the end, she even dared to interpret both of Lord Byron’s poems, so wonderful and yet so difficult to set to music, “There Be None of Beauty’s Daughters” and “She Walks in Beauty”.
“Working with such magnificent musicians and having them as role models has got me so far”, Turku explains about the development that is behind the album. Musician’s musicians such as Geoff Goodman, Randy Weston or Eric Dolphy played a role, but naturally also her wonderful new band. The young, splendid drummer, Jonas Burgwinkel, the Berlin-based Israeli pianist, Tal Balshai, who swings back and forth between classic and jazz, Florian Trübsbach, for years one of the best German saxophone and clarinet players, and finally and foremost, Paulo Cardoso, one of the very great jazz bass players and Fjoralba’s mentor, accompaniment and partner. He wrote almost all of the arrangements and the CD begins with his wonderful composition “Living, Just Living”.
In all of them Fjoralba Turku places as much trust as they do in her, a final reason why the story of Fjoralba Turku is continually getting better and better.