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Songbook is Aarhus-based trio featuring Spanish tenor sax player Cesar Joaniquet, French double bass player and Aarhus-native, drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen, all leaders of their own ensembles. The trio debut album reflects the three musicians love and appreciation of the songs identified with great vocalist Billie Holiday. It is a beautiful yet informal tribute to Holiday lasting legacy.

The album was recorded in Aarhus during a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, 2014 and feature the musicians deep and immediate connection to Holiday seminal songs, evident in the first, only take of the songs that was used for this album. The trio adopts a reserved, straightforward sax-trio approach most of the time. Joaniquet velvety, singing-caressing tone present the melodic theme and cementing the emotional core of songs like «My One and Only Love», «Someone to Watch Over Me» and «I’m a Fool to Want You», allowing himself a little more freedom only on «I’ll Be Seeing You». Soniano and Christiansen offer solid, still a highly versatile rhythmic basis. All songs are play in a highly emphatic and sparse interplay.

The trio three short free improvisations suggest a much more open approach. Songbook focuses on these pieces on sonic searches, rhythmic games and more intense interplay, still a reserved manner, coherent with its arrangements of Holiday songs.

Beautiful playing, touching arrangements, all radiate Holiday unique heartbreaking grace.

Eyal Hareuveni



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