Atrin Madani - Where Are We Now? (MP3-Download)
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Where are we now? Where are we now? We ask ourselves this in the face of pandemic uncertainty, geopolitical upheavals and the images of women in Iran in autumn 2022 taking to the streets for their rights. Images that particularly concern Atrin Madani, son of Iranian immigrants. Where are we now? This is also a question that every generation of jazz musicians has to ask themselves anew. Madani, born in 1998, has found an answer for himself that is as clear and precise as his singing: What we need most right now is honesty. Humility. And quality. All of this can be found in abundance on the Berliner's debut album without East or West in front, without walls and borders in the head, as the actor Hans-Jürgen Schatz once wrote about the singer.
Madani's debut "Where Are We Now?" is one big declaration of love. The magic that occurs when words and melodies form stories that you just can't get out of your head. These structures are commonly called “songs”. But when Madani sings them with his fabulous quartet, they become cinematic panoramas of the soul.
You can definitely hear the Schöneberger's intensive preoccupation with predecessors such as Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Andy Williams or Tony Bennett. However, he honors the masters by not copying them, but confidently going his own way. And it doesn't lead via the leftover ramps of the Great American Songbook or through the pop charts of the recent past, which are considered with a cramped, postmodern wink. Based on the sound aesthetics of a Norah Jones, a Diana Krall or a Till Brönner, Madani focuses on a hand-picked selection of songs that have so far remained largely unsung in jazz.
We are talking about the exquisite products of the demanding singer/songwriter art of the 1970s, which recently celebrated an amazing comeback in the clubs under the sign of "Yacht-Rock" with compilation series such as "Too Slow to Disco". Songs that are made for Madani. Like Michael Franks or Donald Fagen, the two pillar saints of sophisticated seventies pop rock, the young Berliner has the rare gift of making enormously complex things sound as light as a feather.
But the story of "Where Are We Now?" also includes the deeply personal connection that the millennial has to the songs of the boomers - and in the process makes the supposedly insurmountable front lines between the generations seem obsolete.
"Everybody's Talkin'", for example, has followed Madani since he was a child. "My dad is a total music freak, we always played that song in Harry Nilsson's version with that weird nasal country voice," says the singer with a laugh. For their reading of the piece, made famous by the movie Midnight Cowboy, Madani, pianist Christian von der Goltz, guitarist Alexander Ruess, bassist Olaf Casimir and drummer Tobias Backhaus were inspired by the hypnotic calypso groove that Ahmad Jamal included his hit song "Poinciana" on the 1958 recording Live at The Pershing.
01 Where Are We Now?
02 Things Behind The Sun
03 Everybody’s Talkin’
04 Alone Again (Naturally)
08 Fool On The Hill