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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Henri and Rachel
Artist - Eli Degibri

For those not in the know, on his self-released ninth album, Henri and Rachel, titled for his parents, Tel Aviv-based saxophonist-composer Eli Degibri again reveals his ability to convey profound emotions in the language of notes and tones.

Joined by his immensely talented working Israeli rhythm section, the 43-year-old maestro spins an intimate, impassioned love story, portraying the personalities and idiosyncrasies of his tight-knit family – his parents, his fiancé, his closest friend.

Towards that end, Degibri contributes eight soulful, erudite, unfailingly melodic songs and an ingeniously reconfigured standard, uncorking a succession of impassioned declamations, ascendant and nuanced, that uphold the remark a teacher made to him during the 1990s, when he was attending Berklee School of Music: “You play old in a new way.”

Henri and Rachel (out now via Degibri Records) is Eli Degibri’s follow-up to Cliff Hangin’, which received 5 STARS (Masterpiece) from DownBeat Magazine and features his brand new, melodic compositions as an homage to his loving, aging parents, Henri and Rachel.

1. Henri and Rachel
2. Gargamel
3. Like Someone in Love
4. Longing
5. Noa
6. The Wedding
7. Dox Quixote
8. Ziv
9. Preaching to the Choir
11. Henri and Rachel (Duo Version)

This simply beautiful, totally and utterly lovingly captivating new album opens on the free flowing hipsway of the title track Henri and Rachel and then brings us the more methodical, sax-charged Gargamel, before bleeding seamlessly into the sublime Like Someone in Love, the buoyantly joyful aspirations of Longing, and then comes the low slung, deeper mood arc of Noa.

Up next is the playful and euphoric The Wedding and the thoughtfully paced Dox Quixote, which are in turn followed by one of my own personal favorites on this new recording, the ornate piano gossamer of Ziv, the heartfelt embrace of the rhythmic melodies within Preaching to the Choir, the album coming to a close on the heavenly accord of Henri and Rachel (Duo Version).

An internationally recognized saxophonist-composer-bandleader, Eli Degibri possesses many gifts as a musician. He boasts a seemingly bottomless fount of artistry as a composer and a bandleader, and is a recipient of the honorary Israeli “Prime Minister Award for Jazz Composition”, recognizing his great talent as a melodic composer, and the “Landau Award for Jazz Performance”, recognizing his achievement as a remarkable bandleader.

Known for his charismatic performances, Degibri has recorded and performed extensively since the mid-1990s. He has been called, “an exceptionally melodic improviser with a big, bold tenor tone” (Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes), and “a bewitching fellow who shows impressive chops, as both a player and a composer.” (Karl Stark, The Philadelphia Inquirer).

Jazz icon Herbie Hancock said that Degibri (who was a member of Hancock’s Sextet from 1999 to 2002) is “a very talented composer, arranger, and performer“, one who’s music, “treads uncharted waters“, and that the saxophonist-composer, “has the potential to be a formidable force in the evolution of jazz.”

Official Purchase Links

Eli Degibri - Henri and Rachel [Official Video]

Official Website

Eli Degibri @ YouTube

Eli Degibri @ YouTube

Eli Degibri @ YouTube

Eli Degibri @ YouTube