Thursday 30 May 2024

'All Aboard Vol.1 Departures' by Itai Kriss & Telavana

Itai Kriss unveils his new album release 'All Aboard Vol.1 Departures' through his new label home of Avenue K Records.

New music from Itai Kriss is always shrouded with excitement, particularly from long-standing listeners of his music releases to date.  The flautist, composer and band leader has become renowned for his fusion of seemingly disparate and disconnected musical genres and styles, subsequently creating something gloriously harmonious and distinctly a style of his own.

The New York-based artist has cultivated an extensive career as a key contributor to a selection of jazz, Afro-Cuban, Latin and salsa collectives including Pedrito Martinez, Orquesta Akokan and Avishai Cohen, as well as boasting a series of his own album releases cementing his talents as a revered solo artist in his own right.  Through past albums 'The Shark' (2010), 'Telavana' (2018) and 'Supermoon' (2021), Kriss' quintessentially broad musical palette has created vibrant musical soundscapes resulting in a concoction of Arabic textures, sweet soul and spirited Latin stylings.

Beyond the generous and free-flowing nature of Kriss' compositions, much of his music is about building connections whether that be musical connections, connections that roots us to our community or even to the larger world around us.  Kriss' previous album, 'Supermoon', sought to explore connections within a more intercosmic context by lovingly continuing jazz's long lineage with space exploration as popularized by the iconic works of Sun Ra.  The sensational album demonstrated the vast scope afforded to Kriss through his music seemingly limited only by his own imagination. 

'All Aboard Vol.1 Departures' once again develops that theme of connections but this time opts to narrow the project's focus a little more by restricting its range to our own atmosphere.  Serving as Kriss' fourth album release, the project examines the concept of travel and journeys, "both physical and spiritual".  Having himself uprooted to New York from Israel, the album seeks to extoll the virtues of an open-minded perception to different cultures which has certainly proved to be the long-running aesthetic that has consistently permeated through to Kriss' music with each album released.  

While there's no denying the technological achievements we have in being able to communicate with a person on the other side of the world with the same ease as someone 10 feet away, it's a vastly different experience than being able to immerse yourself within another culture altogether including their food, their language or their perspectives on the world.  With indelible assistance from the outstanding Telavana collective, 'All Aboard' embraces a variety of musical excursions throughout the record with notable detours through Morocco, Egypt and Paris.

'All Aboard' is a sensational album continuing in the vein of Itai Kriss releases that strive to both unite and inspire.  It's wonderful music and when born of such genuine sincerity, has the ability to make those connections with enthusiastic listeners be them on the other side of the world or just 10 feet away.

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