Leave me loathsome light
Come to me soothing sleep
Hide me from day's garish
Efrat Alony – vocals
Susanne Paul – Cello
UpSideDown celebrates the contrasts that make up our times, gracefully gliding between strength and fragility, depth and playfulness ,intensity and lightness, peacefulness and wildness, at times even quirkiness.
Alony's strong, soulful voice, its wast depth, almost haunts you. A marvellous shape-shifting being, that slips in and out of different characters and emotions. Like a magician who knows too well the exact amounts of each ingredient in order to create the perfect potion, she allures us to unexpected, unknown avenues, and we - the listeners- follow blindly- we’re allowed a peak into the mystery, its most powerful and most frail moments.
Efrat Alony – vocals
Susanne Paul – Cello
Carola Schmidt - video
Trying to put Efrat Alony’s music in a box is a task destined to fail. Every musical compartment would simply be too small. Her ability to compose and sing in- between the musical genres, in a her exceptional unique style, is what makes her stand out and shine.
"Untamable. The Israeli singer Efrat Alony bewilders with her voice, beauty and intellect. (…) Her timbre seduces us - to unstintingly listen." Tom R. Schulz , "Die Zeit"
"I'm not sure that there is a category for what Alony does. I'm not sure that there should be. Call it music." Doug Ramsey, "Artsjournal"
"….The music hits you with full force. Efrat Alony, with her dazzling versatile singing, enriches scat singing with sighs and lamentations and shows that Hebrew can both comfort and glow, like a candle…" Josef Engels, "Berliner Morgenpost"
"Her voice is a lusty cross between Joni Mitchell's folk wisdom and Amy Winehouse's rolling purr. Alony's voice is highly trained, but what's most fascinating is her original music and lyrics. The style isn't quite jazz but something new and cutting edge... While I confess you may need to recalibrate your sensibility a bit to fully appreciate what Alony is doing, the journey is well worth it." Marc Meyers, JazzWax.com
"…Efrat Alony completely is at home in her music. She commands her extraordinarily cultured alto voice with confidence… she sends shivers down your spine. …Alony treads exciting new paths. Her daring experiments are both refreshing and intense. The compositions – at times peaceful, at times stormy – are even more vivacious in a live performance than on her wonderful debut album merry-go-round"…
Birgit Nüchterlein, "Nürnberger Nachrichten"
"I love challenges“ she explains, "I enjoy trying to find a boundery, where one thinks one can`t push it any further, and then- do just that- try to jump over it. Every time anew, I’m startled, as to how flexible our minds, our ears, our abilities as performers and our ever changing perception of music really is"
Born in Haifa, Israel, as a daughter of Jewish Iraqi new comers, singer Efrat Alony studied composition, arranging, jazz singing and classical singing in Israel, Germany and the U.S. Efrat was a featured as a soloist with many Big-Bands such as the Sunday Night Orchestra (CD “Overcast”, 2008), the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Radio Big Band Frankfurt, the Zurich Jazz Orchestra as well as the Ed Partyka Jazz Orchestra ( CD „Songs for love lost“, 2011)
Efrat has worked as a musical director and vocal coach for various theater productions, such with the renowned American director Robert Wilson. In 2006 she was awarded the Jazz Performance Prize of the Karl Hofer Society and the Jazz Institute Berlin. in 2008 and in 2010 she received the City of Berlin Jazz Award. In 2009 Alony recieved the „Nürnberg Nachrichten International Jazz award“ and in 2010 she was nominated for the BMW world Jazz award. In 2014 Efrat recieved the "german music author's prize"of the GEMA for Jazz composition.
Since 2009 Efrat Alony is a Professor for Jazz Singing at the HKB College of the arts in Bern, Switzerland.
Cello isn’t an instrument that most people would normally associate with jazz, but in Susanne Paul's hands it changes into an entirely different animal: her virtuoso improvisations, grooves, chords, bass lines and refined rhythmic twists come out just as naturally as expressive „classical" cello sounds. As a performer and composer alike she weaves jazz and elements from flamenco, Brazilian music, tango, funk, baroque or punk into a colorful musical language of her own. She plays regularly with musicians such as Carlos Bica, Uwe Kropinski, Etta Scollo or Julia Hülsmann and is leader of the MOVE String Quartet, for which she also composes. She has published sheet music for cello and string ensemble (Breitkopf & Härtel, Edition Ponticello) and teaches jazz cello at the Bruckner University of Linz and in numerous international workhops and masterclasses.
Born in southern California to a German-Mexican family, she grew up in the USA and Germany and took up cello at a young age, then dropped it as a teen, drifting into electric guitars, punk and flamenco. She later studied classical music, after all and finally stuck with jazz cello. She is a prizewinner of the 2006 Creole Competition for World Music, won the „Best Edition“ prize for the publication of "Groovy Strings" in 2010 and was awarded the Förderstipendium of the Berlin Senate in 2017 for two months of studying and composing in Rio de Janeiro.
„Susanne Paul masters the instrument like no other… She can replace an entire orchestra with her cello: she plucks, caresses, bows, knocks and pounds it, and extracts sounds that you never knew were at home in this instrument... sounding like a violin, guitar or drums - and sometimes even like a cello“ - Lucie Peetz, Frankenpost
„Earsplittingly beautiful,… infectious, sparkling playing“ - RBB Kulturradio
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