The Road Ahead (Enja Records), the latest album from Albare, opens listeners’ hearts and minds through the original music and extraordinary musicianship of Albare and his quartet.
ALBARE is the nom de guerre of Albert Dadon, a virtuoso jazz guitarist with a strong melodic sense and a wealth of global influences. Born in Morocco and raised in Israel and France, Albare first worked as a musician in Paris before emigrating to Australia at the age of 27. Albare has been and remains a major force in the Australian jazz scene. He has directed the Melbourne Jazz Festival for many years, and is the chairman of the Australian Jazz Awards.
Not only is Albare a well-known jazz musician, he is also one of Australia’s preeminent real estate entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
In 2008, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him an Order of Australia in recognition of his contributions to the worlds of Arts and Culture.
For his latest CD, the guitarist fuses his Moroccan roots effortlessly with six-string influences ranging from Wes Montgomery to George Benson, drawing on elements of blues and soul, fueled by infectious grooves. The groove is important to Albare, who was an acid-jazz pioneer in his adopted homeland.
Albare collaborated with Phil Turcio, the pianist of the quartet, to compose most of the songs on this new album. Four of these came directly from Albare’s pen. The lone cover track on The Road Ahead—Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed—was arranged by Albare and Phil.
The title tune provides an entrancing theme with a mystical Middle Eastern feel. Albare’s meditative solo expression is played on an E1 Moog guitar. “The architecture of the guitar is interesting,” Albare says. “The strings have their own energy and don’t necessarily do what you want them to, so it takes quite a while to master. But you can listen beyond the music to the vibrations, which are very much part of the music.”
The new quartet, which he feels fortunate to have united, features Australian pianist Phil Turcio, who played extensively with Albare throughout the 1990s; Cuban-born bassist Yunior Terry, who has performed with Jane Bunnett, Steve Coleman, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Jerry Gonzales’ Fort Apache Band; and Venezuelan drummer Pablo Bencid, a Berklee graduate who plays with Boston’s Either/Orchestra.
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