Imagine an Arabic female voice, wandering through space and clusters of notes, distortion and pure sound, taking you on a journey through Iraqi and Arabic folk songs as you've never heard them before.
Sawa is a trio of three established soloists and bandleaders that began as a collaboration between British-Iraqi composer and vocalist Alya Al-Sultani based in East London and award- winning composer and pianist Clemens Christian Poetzsch from Leipzig.
After spending a few days one winter writing and experimenting with some fragment ideas, they decided that the music needed a cello, and specifically the cello of Shirley Smart, a leading improviser and cross- genre musician who had spent a decade in Jerusalem immersed in the music of the region.
With Alya singing in Arabic and Clemens applying his love of polyrhythmic treatments along with Shirley’s synaesthetic improvising power, they found an instant musical and personal chemistry and began recording their experiments, free improvisations and treatments of folk music, partly using the Fluid Piano, a one of a kind instrument that was housed in Alya’s home for 6 months in agreement with its inventor.
released August 20, 2016
All compositions by Alya Al-Sultani, Clemens Christian Poetzsch and Shirley Smart
Inhale, and prepare for a forward thinking, visceral album. This concept is constantly searching and each individual musician, along with the virtuoso playing of Yazz express their own individual feelings that reflect their own lives in our world today. The production is superb, and that wonderful artwork on the album cover seals in this mind blowing album. For the forward thinking Jazz head, this is one to spend time with. I believe Dizzy Gillespie would have seriously appreciated. George Prince.
The entire group's groove dynamic is so fucking amazing. Shout out to Nubya Garcia, Joe Armon Jones, Daniel Casimir and that drummer Femi Koloeso. Keep making good music!!!
btw the tuba's solo was above and beyond my imagination Raven Branwen