Style: chamber vocal pop-jazz/Italian canzone
Label: independent release
Website: www.elaluna.de ; www.myspace.com/elaluna
Playing Time: 58:17
Cat. N°: 00000
Review by: Misha
Light-footed and playful, classy and carrying an enormous positive charge, this music will make you happy. If you were already happy enough to discover it, of course. But this is changing: this wonderful jazz trio from Berlin is not that difficult to find anymore. They have finally got their own site www.elaluna.de
and a page on MySpace. They issued already 4 cd’s independently and sell them online via their site and amazon.de. They play concerts once in a while (when their work as musical teachers allows it). I was very fortunate to attend one myself, in Berlin in June 2009. And I assure you, that was an absolutely wonderful experience! I was wondering then: why the organizers of for example the North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam invite somebody that far from jazz and in any case derivative, as Katie Melua or Duffy, and totally oversee such an original band like … e la luna? Well, actually I can guess the answer: they try to broaden the festival profile in order to attract more audience. But still, I don’t agree… See the concert review on this site a few weeks later, I am going to start working on it really soon.
The trio formed in 1997, after the singer Eva Spagna moved from Florence (Italy) to Berlin. Martin Klenk is also not a native Berliner. He came from West Germany to West Berlin even before the fall of the Wall. Only Holger, the guitarist comes from Berlin. This city definitely has it’s positiv Ladung, a tremendous attracting force, that I myself also felt for the first time, while visiting the city in June this year. So I didn’t had to ask the guys why did they all came there. It becomes obvious to everybody who had a chance to behold the Himmel Uber Berlin. However, If I had to leave Florence, I would think twice. I suspect that for Eva there were some more attractive forces then only that of the city of Berlin :-)
… e la luna? (yes, with those funny points and question mark in the name!), a German-Italian band, singing covers of Italian canzone’s in their own light and jazzy stile, perfectly fits in the cosmopolitan city of Berlin, where nothing is strange and every sort of art is welcome. I stumbled upon the band actually a little earlier, in 2006, when I was in Moscow. My girlfriend got their first cd from 1999, named “… e la luna?” as a present from one of the Moscow’s alternative DJ’s. It was difficult not to fall in love with this music, so beautiful and different from anything else I’ve heard before. The concept itself: singing Italian pop and traditional songs in a chamber jazz arrangements was really a great idea. It remains a mystery how that Russian DJ has found the band, but well, the ways of the Russian DJ’s can be strange and unpredictable.
The idea of reviewing their third album “tre!”, issued in 2006, and not the latest “Stella Stellina” from 2008, came from the guys themselves. “Stella Stellina” is also a beautiful piece of music. Actually, not only music. It is a concept album for children, containing a book with lyrics in two languages (German and Italian) accompanied by funny pictures. The concept is interesting in it’s own way, but it fits not exactly on the prog-rock site like this one.
The album starts with an up-tempo jazzy and cheerful “La notte è fatta per rubare”. It is an old Italian canzone, written somewhere in the middle of the 20th century by the Italian film composer Piero Umiliani and poet B.T. Chiaramonte. Martin Clerk plays cello, changing stick to plucking on the lower strings, using it as an acoustic bass instrument. Holger Schliestedt plays acoustic guitar, playing accords and giving the song melodic as well as rhythmic shape. The voice of Eva Spagna is frolicsome and quick-tempered, a little boyish. She takes the listener with her on this musical adventure, tempting him to sing along, or at least whistle, if Italian words are too difficult to catch from the first time. The whole is tight and at the same time light and free, leaving you to wish for more.
And more there comes. Every song on this record is a light and beautiful feather, bending in different directions under the music breeze, ventilating your head from angry moods … and may be even bad ideas?
My favourite song on “tre!” is “quello che voui”. It is one of three songs that the band members wrote themselves, and I wish they used more of their own creations: they definitely can write a fantastic song. Here Martin plays a groovy bass line as well as soprano sax, and Holger plays acoustic and electric guitars. Eva sings in a little lower and dreamy voice a really catchy and beautiful melody line. All these gives the song a kind of warm and mysterious sort atmosphere.
I could go on forever, praising these guys, but I think it’s enough for the first time now. I would like to advise you: if you like light or vocal jazz, buy any of their records, you will not regret. And … e la luna? can go on with their “art for art sake” tour of duty, knowing that their music is heard and appreciated.
1. La notte è fatta per rubare
2. Sotto il sole, con il mare
4. Quello che vuoi
5. Meglio stasera
6. Cavoli! (Vienimi accanto)
7. Storia d'amore
9. La canzone del sole
10. Giornali femminili
11. Non arrossire
12. Sparring partner
13. L'amore è tutto qui
14. Insieme a te non ci sto più
15. Tintarella di luna
Eva Spagna – vocal
Martin Klenk – cello, saxes, melodica
Holger Schliestedt - guitars
Valentin Gregor - violin
Michael Kersting - drums, perc.
Scott White - bass
[Aangemeld door misha
on Wednesday 15 July 2009 - 20:53:51