Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers
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Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers


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"fRoot CD review - Reconciliation by Daphna Sadeh"

Daphna Sadeh has many talents ,and playing the Bass incredibly well is only one of them.She is an inventive composer...The Voyagers include some of the most respected and talented musicians who play Jewish,Middle Eatern and Eastern European music in London .Reconciliation is their third CD and shows the band at their most seductive and hypnotic.Reconciliation is one of those CD's that deserves a lot of listening and at each play it gets better.

fRoot August/September 2009 - fRoot

"Musician Union CD review - Reconciliation by Daphna Sadeh"

This release continues the musical success of her previous outings, Out of Border (2002)and Walking the Thin Line (2007)and will further consolidate her reputation as an eclectic artist who can devastatingly amalgamate elements from western classical sources with middle eastern and Arabic roots styles. - Musician Union Journal UK

"Songlines -Reconciliation by Daphna Sadeh"

Everyone of Sadeh's compositions sings. In this passionate,highly accessible record,it's clear that Sadeh has found her voice as a stylish composer and bandleader,with a talent for making the complicated sound extraordinarily simple.

by Lemez Lovas (Reviewed 4 stars)

- Songlines July 2009, by Lemez Lovas (Reviewed 4 stars)

"All About Jazz"

The ringing endorsement by John Zorn, describing bassist Daphna Sadeh and the Voyager's Reconciliation as 'brilliant and hypnotic... seductive and powerful music" might sound just a tad like self publicity, given that he commissioned the music for his own label, were it not for the fact that it is true. Sadeh has led the Voyagers on a journey of musical discovery since 2003, and this, their third album, is a distillation of the musical veins that run through ancient and modern Jewish history; Jewish music, yes, but one that rubs shoulders and bumps and grinds with Middle Eastern, Arabic and Turkish sounds.
The musical Israeli Diaspora, which, like a stone in a pond, has created ever expanding waves in the New York jazz scene and beyond, has been a story of note in recent years. Sadeh is perhaps the most Israeli of the lot, at least musically, as she has absorbed so much of the myriad cultures that make up modern Israel. The opener, "Queen of Sheeba," with its bolshy, melodic gaiety, thumping tuba sound, from trombonist Mark Bassey, and Stewart Curtis' flying clarinet, sounds like the soundtrack to an Emir Kursturica film of a Jewish wedding in Jerusalem.

Reconciliation is released as part of John Zorn's Radical Jewish Culture series, though Sadeh is on no mission other than a musical one; she was bassist in an Israeli Arabic band which played Lebanese music years before she went to New York to study classical music, and where she ventured into avant-garde jazz. Elements of jazz permeate the Voyagers' music, though jazz is, by Sadeh's own admission, not her natural language. Nevertheless, her understated hand guides the ensemble with a lyricism which brings to mind Charlie Haden, with her lovely arced bow playing and probing but gentle touch.

Accordion, clarinet, guitar and trombone waltz around each other, and unison playing, reminiscent of Rabih Abou Khalil's ensembles, characterizes these tunes, particularly the fast paced "Gulliver in Jerusalem." This track features fine statements by Curtis, Bassey and Sadeh herself. The musicianship throughout is first rate; solos are short and to the point and individual instruments are employed primarily to route the melody of each piece.

The music is thoughtful, as on "Avinu," but not especially melancholic, with the exception, perhaps, of "Klil"; Sadeh's bass is to the fore here, where it meshes beautifully with Ivor Goldberg's guitar and mandolin in quiet reflection. In general though, even the slower passages of the compositions are upbeat and the music mostly canters along breezily.

The title track does not specifically reference Israel/Palestine, but rather peoples' personal inner battles. It is surely true that if everybody made an effort to address their own prejudices and recognize the common thread that unites all humanity, rejecting harmful dogma and isms in the process, that all the walls would come tumbling down. This is the musical well from which Sadeh and the Voyagers draw their water.

Bright and accessible, colourful and unfailingly melodic, this is music that should appeal to a wide range of listeners

By Ian Patterson, June 2009

- Ian Patterson

"The Jazz Mann -Reconciliation - Daphna Sadeh, CD review"

Daphna Sadeh is an Israeli double bass player and composer currently resident in the UK. “Reconciliation”, released on the New York based Tzadik label is her third album as a leader following “Out Of Border” (2002) and “Walking The Thin Line” (2007).

Born and raised in Israel she subsequently studied both classical music and jazz in New York before relocating to the UK. Her music is a reflection of her various influences and includes jazz, folk, Middle Eastern and klezmer elements. Her band reflects her various influences with Mark Bassey on trombone and Eddie Hession on accordion joined by Stewart Curtis (clarinets, flutes, recorders), Ivor Goldberg (guitars, mandolin, voice) and drummer/percussionist Ronen Kozokaro. The album encompasses a number of styles but the mood is ultimately uplifting. It has received the endorsement of no less an authority than Tzadik label boss John Zorn, presumably an associate from Sadeh’s New York days. World music guru Charlie Gillett is another fan and has featured Sadeh’s music on his show.

The common factor that links Sadeh’s various influences is her unfailing way with a good tune. All eight pieces on “Reconciliation” are highly melodic, from the gentle balladry of “Klil” and “Kadish” to the more upbeat numbers such as the opening “Queen Of Sheba”. The arrangements are consistently excellent with Sadeh stitching the various colours of an unusual instrumental palette together with great care and skill. The result is colourful, multi hued music that is obviously a real labour of love.

“Queen Of Sheba” is a rousing opener initially based around Bassey’s insistent trombone vamp and subsequent solo. Guitar, clarinet and accordion all take turns at carrying the jaunty melody and each is featured as a solo instrument. Sadeh also features in the front line, demonstrating her solo abilities with the bow. It’s a colourful and spirited start to a hugely attractive album.

“Gulliver In Jerusalem” mines similar territory, with Bassey’s rasping trombone again prominent, especially in the tune’s more boisterous sections. Curtis’ clarinet and Hession’s fleet fingered accordion playing also feature strongly with Sadeh herself this time soloing pizzicato. Percussionist Kozokaro is granted a suitably volcanic drum break as the Voyagers keep the energy levels high.

“Avinu” is almost inevitably more restrained with Curtis’s brooding, wonderfully woody clarinet combining well with Hession’s accordion drone. Bassey shows the more delicate side of his playing in a brief but lyrical solo.

“What Else Is There” opens quietly but soon morphs into an airy, fast moving tune with a beautiful melody featuring the distinctive high pitched notes of Curtis’ recorder. Goldberg’s agile guitar picking and Hession’s accordion also feature strongly on yet another winning tune. It’s almost impossible not to smile on hearing this good natured, life affirming music.

In a well balanced programme the title track cools things down again but still possesses a gorgeous tune. Curtis’ delicate flute and Goldberg’s gently chiming guitar are sympathetically supported by the rest of the group.

The elegant “Klil” can initially be equated to a ballad and features the leader’s plucked bass alongside careful and exact acoustic guitar, accordion and flute. It later transforms through a stately mid section into something far more urgent and energetic, Curtis’ flute here combining with Goldberg’s wordless vocal.

“Kadish” is yet another example of Sadeh’s excellent writing and arranging skills. Another memorable melody is graced by sounds ranging from recorder to trombone with Hession’s accordion holding it altogether. It speaks with a quiet eloquence.

The closing “External Mother” pulls all the elements together in an effective finale that balances the energy of the opening numbers with the elegiac quality of the quieter pieces. Bassey’s trombone comes to the fore again, but like the rest of the album this is really a great team effort. Sadeh blends the various instruments together with great skill and praise is due all round. Particular mention should be made at this point of percussionist Kozokaro who consistently adds colour without ever unduly imposing on the music.

“Reconciliation” is an apt title as Sadeh expertly blends the different strands of her musical influences together. Some of this music is lively enough to dance to, all is beautiful enough to listen to. Bright and accessible,colourful and unfailingly melodic this is music that should appeal to a wide range of listeners, not just committed world music fans.

By Ian Mann ,April 2009 - The Jazz Mann www.thejazzmann.com

"Billboard -Daphna Sadeh - Reconciliation Tzadik"

Daphna Sadeh is a classically trained double bassist and composer. With her fine group the Voyagers, she marries jazz to music from the Mediterranean Sephardic tradition, Arabic Taq'sim to Jewish folk styles, and traditional music to that of the Eastern European Ashkenazi. She adds complex rhythmic structures such as those of klezmer and even latter day New Orleans jazz in a heady, sophisticated brew that is, for all that complexity, an amazingly approachable type of joyous party music. Nowhere is this more evident than on her debut album for Tzadik (and her second overall), Reconciliation. The title may seem serious, but that's because in Sadeh's compositions, the music of the Jewish diaspora comes home in an intoxicating -- not too mention astonishing -- array of styles, colors, rhythms, and melodies to form something wholly unique. The Voyagers are Ivor Goldberg on guitars, mandolin, and voice,Ronen Kozokaro on various kinds of drums and percussion, Eddie Hession on accordion, Mark Bassey on trombone, and Stewart Curtis playing recorders and clarinets with Sadeh on bass. Needless to say, there is bound to be some juxtaposition that arrests the listener and makes her listen twice on such an ambitious recording. Take "What Else Is There?": here is the sound of surf guitars, Ashkenazi, Taq'sim , and a rhythmic attack that places both klezmer and ska side by side. But this track, for all its musical sophistication, is also one of the band's more fun moments. Other selections, such as "Kadish," meld the longing lonesome sound of the Sephardim's most mournful music with that of the Yiddish ballad and modern jazz's weaving of modalities and harmonic invention. The opening "Queen of Sheeba," marries the early sounds of klezmer with the sound of the dancehall rhythms of Israel and the sense of staggered staccato drumming inherent in New Orleans jazz. In sum, Reconciliation is magical, full of surprise and delight, and is an astonishing vision from an artist who is still finding her way through all of her of her musical passions and learning to weave them all into her own signature sound. ~
Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
March 2009

- Billboard www.Biliboard.com


2002 Daphna Sadeh- Out of Border (recorded in Israel)
2007 Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers -Walking The Thin Line released on 33 Records UK
2009 Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers -Reconciliation
Released on Tzadik label ,New York (John Zorn)



Israeli born, Daphna Sadeh is a composer and a double bass player. Her compositions reflect and integrate the diversity of musical cultures she has experienced as a musician.
It is a deep cultural awareness of her roots that informs Daphna Sadeh’s music. She was born into a multi cultural society in Israel, where she was exposed to cultures from the Diaspora

Her music is inspired and rooted in Jewish music Mediterranean and Middle Eastern music.

Daphna brings together performers from contrasting backgrounds and traditions, creating a seamless musical tapestry of cross cultural dialogue.

”One of the main aims in my musical creativity” she says ”is to create a way of dialogue between cultures in conflict”.

Her initial training as a student of classical music and Jazz was at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. After graduating she joined The East West Ensemble and Eve's Women in Israel, leading to international performances and recordings in festivals and venues in the far East, USA, South Africa and Europe.

Sadeh’s playing and composing developed further through her involvement with Middle Eastern and Arabic music, while performing in festivals as well as session work, TV recordings and theatre performances.

2002 saw release of her CD "Out of Border". The same year she moved to the UK and formed her group The Voyagers, based in London. The members of the Voyagers are well established touring and session musicians.The Voyagers brings and create together the unique sound of contemporary fusion of world music, Middle Eastern and Jewish Music.
The group toured in major venues in the London and UK as well as various festivals and venues in Europe.

In 2007 came the release of "Walking The Thin Line"which was released on the UK based label -33 Records.

On 2009 Daphna released the CD "Reconciliation" of her compositions,commissioned by the composer and Jazz musician John Zorn, the director of Tzadik label in New York. The CD has received excellent reviews in World music and jazz magazines.
The group launched the CD in 2009 with performances in London, festivals in the UK and Europe. In addition the CD was featured on radio stations in the UK, Europe and USA.

In the same year Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers were chosen to perform a showcase in Decibel 2009 ,the Arts Council England showcase in Manchester UK.

Daphna's work was best described by John Zorn:
" Her first Tzadik release is a brilliant and hypnotic mix of Jazz,Western classical, Middle Eastern,Arabic Taqsim and Jewish music reflecting her
eclectic life experiences. Seductive and powerful music..." John Zorn 2009.