Sara Alexander - Café Turc (1999)

This enchanting and moving album from Sara Alexander – an Israeli composer, singer & accordionist based in France - is inspired by all the music around the Mediterranean and recorded with musicians from Greece, Italy, Turkey and France (Pierre Rigopoulos: darbouka, zarb, daf; Anello Capuano: oud, saz, mandolin; Philippe Briegh - clarinet, violin, saxes; guest musicians Mesut Ali: ney & Yannis Vlachos: bouzouki, guitar).

A child of Israel who first saw the light of day in Jerusalem, this daughter of immigrants from Turkey and Rumania, of jews and gypsies, who was born at the crossroads between Orient and Occident, is nourished by all of the cultures settled around the Mediterranean Sea. After her artistic beginnings in the famous Israeli ensemble Leakat HaNachal and on the stages of Tel-Aviv, she left Israël in 1967. Ever since, this nomad's music has been ignoring all categories and all frontiers. She can count on the complicity of musicians that are, like her, travellers from different origins. […] Her warm, deep voice, which is that of an oriental blues singer, and her sensitive and luminous accordion play walk the confines of Greece, Turkey, Spain and North Africa, melting all into an imaginary country where gypsy passion, oriental languor, klezmer humour and contemporary composition grow into something new and original. Very much engaged in encouraging the peace making process in the Near East, Sara has also published, in 1999, a book of her personal experiences and involvement in the attempts of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, entitled Shalom! Salam! The ensemble of her work, ethical as much as musical, have brought her many awards, such as, in May 2000 the «Ethics & Meaning Foundation Award» (New York), in April 1999, the «Légion d'Honneur» (Paris) and in 1990, the title of «Laureat of the Smithsonian Institute» (Washington). (Métisse Music)

An Israeli who was already breaking taboos in the early 1970’s with her singing of texts by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Sara Alexander now appears as a special kind of polyglot who mingles Slavic accents with Mideastern melodies. Yet her intentions remains the same: to widen the spectrum, to build bridges, to bring people together through transmission of the word and the thread of memory. This multiple ancestral memory speaks to all peoples - «wanderers» or not – who have created a history from their wounds and doubts, their hopes and struggles. It is a living memory, made of a disturbing nostalgia, echoing off the present moment which is radiant with happiness. (Xavier Matthyssens, from the liner notes of Café Turc)

Between dream and reality, life unfolds like a geographical map of the heart. We are all travellers. (Sara Alexander)

More on Sara Alexander and her latest projects here

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Radu said...


aNETa said...

Thanx for tis gem, too.
Your discriptions are very helpfull for me, because i don't know the most of your postings, but every music i had taken from you is great!



Sermo said...

I agree with Aneta, it is always worth to check Mr. Radu's things, even if one doesn't know them before. This is especially beautiful. A MUST for every fan of balkan and near east music, because it is far superior to many other recordings from that region.

S.Celli said...

Many thanks!
This album is wonderful!
Abraços do Brasil!