New Album "What If" coming up
What if- one musician gets a call from another to do a background gig in an Italian restaurant. There is musical chemistry. “It was a magical evening,” say Eran Har Even, the Israeli born guitarist who had invited Sanne Huijbregts, the Dutch singer, to appear with him that day. Four years on, “EvenSanne” have brought out their third CD – What If. “The super strong connection” as Sanne puts it, has produced a remarkable and highly original new album. Sanne’s impeccable, diction and pitch is a perfect foil to Eran’s precise, yet richly expressive playing. They are joined by Itai Weissman on EWI – the unusual electrical wind instrument, and Jeroen Batterink on drums.
“We both come from a Jazz tradition,” explains Eran, “but we don’t want to be tagged. We use a lot of external vocal and instrumental effects, for example a loop station, octavers, and delays. With these elements we can make our duo and now our quartet sound much different than a more conventional line up.” Sanne develops this idea, “The EWI, the drums, the loop station, the Glockenspiel, all the other instruments, no bass; the way we play, present – with visuals, communicate and compose; by now we have a clear band sound. Our songs are quite recognisable.”
Their previous CD Something So Sweet and the EP Still both published in 2014, won critical acclaim. “Haunting melodies and refreshing harmony, woven through beautifully crafted compositions,” wrote Becca Stevens, the American folk-Jazz musician. Gilad Hekselman, the Israeli Jazz guitarist and composer described EvenSanne as, “..unique and magical.. able to make so much harmonic and sonic richness and with a truly creative and out-of-the-box approach.”
The tracks on What If were all written by Sanne Huijbregts and Eran Har Even; a “duo creation” as they put it. Just before coming together for the album, Sanne studied in Copenhagen and Berlin. Eran taught for three months in India. “We both,” explains Sanne, “had the chance to develop ourselves in our different ways, then we came back fresh and new. We took what we had before, the acoustic duo and we developed it into this harmonic, lyrical, storytelling, dynamic quartet – with sometimes a rock band feel. The first song of the album Act Normal has everything in it. It has all the sounds that we use. There is improvisation in there. The lyrics are a story. If you read the lyrics in the album as a whole from beginning to end, it’s one big storyline.”
The lyrics add depth to the music. I’m Nobody for example is complex, subtle and surprising in its musical composition, based on an idea: as Eran explains, “It’s a song that talks about coming to a new place where nobody knows you. You can develop an alter-ego, which is not really you. You can be an arrogant freak or a most kind person. You can be somebody else.” Clockwork is poetic in both its music and lyrics. According to Sanne, “Clockwork lyrically tries to present coincidence. It’s such a coincidence that you’ve found each other in this world.” Adding to the sense of storyline, three intermediary songs go by the name of in, ter and lude; each an atmospheric breathing space.
Maybe the interludes are much needed. “We are cat and dog,” says Sanne. “We fight for the space on the nice pillow, because we both have strong opinions. We’re stubborn. Then again we’re always friends.” In this new album and in live concert you can sense a unity built on depth of emotion. EvenSanne have dazzled audiences, amongst others at the Bimhuis, Jazzfest, InJazz, So What’s Next, Grachtenfestival, JazzDag, Toonzaal, on Radio 6 – the Dutch Jazz radio station, have toured Israel and won both an Incentive and a Records Prize at the Keep An Eye Jazz Awards. What If is fully sponsored by the Keep an Eye Foundation.
What If you listen to the new CD, which will be published by BERTHOLD records in early 2017 and relish the controlled exuberance of the EvenSanne quartet.