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Thu 7 Nov 2013, 8:00pm

Where: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club - Permanently Closed, 25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne CBD, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $32.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Listed by: tessrobrien

‘The Road Ahead’ (ABC Music), the latest album from Albare, opens listener’s hearts and minds through the original music and extraordinary musicianship of Albare and his quartet.

Recorded in New York earlier this year, ‘The Road Ahead’ is receiving glowing reviews and Jazz Chart success since its recent global release. Since release, ‘The Road Ahead’ has featured in the Top 50 Radio charts in the US for 16 weeks and reviews from popular industry magazines such as ‘Jazztimes’ continue to roll in.

Albare and his quartet toured the US in June, Europe in September and October, closing the tour at the Taichung Jazz Festival in Tawain where they played as the Main Act to an arena of 30,000 people.

Albare is the nom de guerre of Albert Dadon, a virtuoso jazz guitarist with a strong melodic sense and a wealth of global influences. Born in Morocco and raised in Israel and France, Albare first worked as a musician in Paris before emigrating to Australia at the age of 27. Albare has been, and remains, a major force in the Australian jazz scene. He has directed the Melbourne Jazz Festival for many years, and is the chairman of the Australian Jazz Awards.

In 2008, Albare was awarded an Order of Australia in recognition of his contributions to the worlds of Arts and Business.

For his latest album, the guitarist fuses his Moroccan roots effortlessly with six-string influences ranging from Wes Montgomery to George Benson, drawing on elements of blues and soul, fueled by infectious grooves. The groove is important to Albare, who was an acid jazz pioneer in his adopted homeland.

Albare collaborated with Phil Turcio, the pianist of the quartet to compose most of the songs on this new album. Four of these came directly from Albare’s pen. The lone cover track on The Road Ahead - Stevie Wonder’s ‘Overjoyed’ – was arranged by Albare and Phil.

The title tune provides an entrancing theme with a mystical Middle Eastern feel. Albare’s meditative solo expression is played on an E1 Moog guitar. “The architecture of the guitar is interesting,” Albare says. “The strings have their own energy and don’t necessarily do what you want them to, so it takes quite a while to master. But you can listen beyond the music to the vibrations, which are very much part of the music.”

The new quartet, which he feels fortunate to have united, features Australian pianist Phil Turcio, who played extensively with Albare throughout the 1990s; Cuban-born bassist Yunior Terry, who has performed with Jane Bunnett, Steve Coleman, Jeff ‘Tain” Watts, and Jerry Gonzales’ Fort Apache Band; and Venezuelan drummer Pablo Bencid, a Berklee graduate who plays with Boston’s Either/Orchestra.

“There’s a real camaraderie among the four of us,” Albare says. “We gelled very quickly, so I wanted to get into the studio and record the sound we had developed by playing together day in and day out.”

Singer Allan Harris’ rich baritone vocal (the only vocal on the CD) enriches the band’s mellow, soul-jazz cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Overjoyed’. Harris has earned accolades from such luminaries as Tony Bennett, who has called him “my favourite singer.” Albare echoes that praise, saying “Allan has an incredible quality combining Nat King Cole, Luther Vandross, and George Benson all into one guy.”

Albare has just wrapped up his world tour and returns to Australia to launch this amazing new release.