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Album Review: l’Ensemble Sefarade et Mediterraneen – Sephardic and Mediterranean Together

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Founded in 2007, l’Ensemble Sefarade et Mediterraneen (ESME) values tradition and creation. This is exemplified on their newly released album Sephardic and Mediterranean Together, where they mix jazz, classical and old world music to create a unique record that honours tradition, while experimenting with new sounds.

Drawing from various influences, this album focuses on the journey of the Sephardic Jews to the Middle East. The songs work seamlessly together to evoke the painful journey into exile. The percussion and bass provide a solid backbone to the trance like vocals and melodic lines of the oud, violin, clarinet and flute. Overall the paced and woeful tone can be heard from beginning to end, taking the listener through the trials and tribulations of the journey. Eerie tracks like La Serena and Nani Nani raise feelings of uncertainty and loneliness while more up beat tracks like Morenica elite temporary moments of triumph and joy. Sephardic and Mediterranean Together proves to be a musically and emotionally dynamic album that takes listeners into an unknown world.

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