Issue 40 11/2009
FolkWorld CD Review - Jehanne
Boka "Darkness & Light"
Label: self-publishing; 2008
In 2006 Berlin based songwriter Jehanne Boka has published her debut
album "Darkness and Light" with eight original compositions.
At the recordings the singer, guitarist and saxophonist was accompanied
by Morten Stene (fiddle, violin), Gisa Mierke (bodhran, tin whistle,
flute), Stefan Daskalos (gadulka), Jens-Peter Kruse (bass, guitar, percussion)
and Hans Block (piano, drums, percussion). The CD opens with the melancholy
love song "Shoal of Fish" and the foreign sound of the Hardanger
fiddle and the gadulka (a Bulgarian stringed instrument) to which Boka
sensitively plucks the guitar and sings with a crisp, clear voice. But
better watch it: In the following "Pantomime Encounters“
drums and bass create a compelling rhythm and the violin itself is fighting
a breathtaking duel with Boka's singing and guitar. Piano and tin whistle
introduce the quiet blues "My Lord" until percussion, violin,
guitar and vocals are slowly forcing up the pace. Boka feels at ease
with all these styles, and her beautiful singing voice and guitar-playing
are accompanied by outstanding musicians. The following are the rhythmic
song "It's ok", the folky "The Midget" in which
the Hardanger fiddle can be heard again and Kruse is showing excellent
bass playing, and the instrumental piece"Fallobst". In the
latter Boka plays the saxophone, Daskalos the gadulka, Stene the violin,
Kruse the guitar and Block plays percussion; a very rhythmic piece.
The Celtic-style ballad "Something" and the romantic "Wondering"
which is dominated by singing, piano and recorder close an album that
has captivated me from the first to the last note. Jehanne Boka is a
brilliant songwriter with a beautiful voice and her debut album makes
curious about the following one which will hopefully be released soon.
Curious? There are audio samples on
Adolf 'gorhand' Goriup