ART OF THE DUO: AT THE MIDDLE
„The musical paths of the Albanian singer Fjoralba Turku and of the guitarist from New York Geoff Goodman have crossed several times over the past decade: Tabla & Strings, Fjoralba Turku Quintet, Curiosities of Nature, Jazz and Haiku – and now in the most challenging of all disiplines - the Art of the Duo.
In their dialogue, these two mirror images of each other celebrate their cultural roots and their respective cultural journeys: Albanian folk songs, Japanese haikus, blues and jazzy forays are integrated into one authentic, frequently breath-taking whole in a chamber music framework.“ (Deutschland Radio Kultur)
Brilliant tone colours and sound pictures meld voice and guitar into one instrument. Their repertory goes beyond doctrines: with a programme comprising their own compositions, well-known jazz standards, more recent popular songs and traditional Albanian chansons, we are abducted by Turku and Goodman, who take us to unusual sound worlds of great intensity, with a whole lot of surprises on hold.
Towering above everything is Goodman’s heady melange of romantic song spiked with blues and jazz elements – deeply rooted in the music history of America. The guitarist experiments on all stylistic levels, often working in virtuoso flageoletts, while Fjoralba Turku’s vocals are now soft, now powerful and demanding, dissolving in the sounds of the guitar, entirely in the tradition of song phenomenology – a perfect integration of sound colours and emotions. The song texts transport pictures of simple strength as well as complexity, charged with melancholy or with ecstacy, between rough woodcuts and finest filigree.
This album is a gem, far more than only a sum of its parts, of guitar, loops, mandocello, voice and lyrics.
Despite the reminiscences of hillbilly and of jazz standards, At The Middle gives off a certain scent of progrssiveness, going against the grain of the mainstream and of remakes, against the flow
of the present pervasive artistic fog, that often leaves us smothered in its clouds of trendy, musicological non-statement. But we can, in the end, bypass it and step out and back-into-the-future – paradoxically, with a backward glance at the table set before us – richly laden with the traditions of the 20th century.
At the Middle is a must-have! Dig it!