Albanian Jazz State of Mind

Elina Duni – Matanë Malit
Elina Duni

Matanë Malit (ECM, 2012)

Matanë Malit presents one of the most captivating new voices in the global jazz scene. Elina Duni is a jazz and classically-trained singer Albania. Gifted with a pristine voice, she incorporates Balkan folk music into her sound. Matanë Malit (Beyond the mountain) is dedicated to her homeland, Albania and weaves atmospheric jazz with traditional songs.

The selection on Matanë Malit features folk songs of lovers, shepherds, champions, laborers, exiles, and songs of resistance that are transformed into sultry modern music by Elina Duni.

It’s about serving the song”, she describes, “and about reclaiming and reinventing it.”

The line-up on the album includes Elina Duni on vocals, Colin Vallon on piano, Patrice Moret on double-bass, and Norbert Pfammatter on drums.

In 1992, at the age of 10, Elina Duni left Albania. She moved to Switzerland, where she performed classical music, blues and jazz standards. She met pianist Colin Vallon, a fellow student at Berne’s Hochschule der Künste, who encouraged her to sing in Albanian in their duo, created in 2004. “I fell in love with the old songs, and discovered that not only could I sing them and feel them but that this was really my voice, emerging in a very natural way. It was as if, it had been waiting to be activated”, she illuminates.

Elina Duni recorded two albums for Meta Records: Baresha (2008) and Lume Lume (2010). Matanë Malit was produced by Manfred Eicher at Studios La Buissonne, near Avignon (France), in February 2012.

Matanë Malit is a beautifully sculpted album of Albanian folk music transformed into elegant atmospheric jazz.

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