by: Brent Black
An admitted “language geek” fluent in French, Spanish and Italian – just for starters. Hadar is a unique and incredibly intriguing hybrid of say cosmopolitan jazz with some delightful world flavor but is driven by pop, funk, Latin and the international cabaret singer. Last time I checked out someone claiming “cabaret” as an influence the results were not even as close to the extreme talent and delightfully entertaining release Hadar pulls off with Like A Bridge… Hadar’s band is Twist which naturally pays homage to the cultural diversity the collective brings to the table. While her stated objective is to create world unity through music one audience at a time, she takes the non-polarizing approach by letting the politicians handle politics and the musicians handle the music. The eclectic influences that permeate her sound include experiences in places as diverse as Bali, Russia, Switzerland, and Japan just to hit the high notes which I might add Hadar does with ease.
An effervescent swing, a dynamite range with passionate phrasing, Hadar is nothing if not the consummate entertainer. Recorded live in the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley California finds Hadar and her first call band of international talent with an innate gift of swing and the ability to reinvent tunes without disrespecting the originals or themselves. A more world music vibe on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” comes off effortlessly and without some of the more obvious pitfalls a lesser artist could find themselves hitting. One of the better tunes is the classic cover of the Bobby Darin tune “Beyond The Sea” but given a slightly more French twist with jazz accordion adding a delightful texture and stellar reinvention of a timeless classic. “Child Of Man” features the Israeli-born, American bred singer-songwriter Noa. This joyous celebration steeped in the global percussionist work of Ian Dogole on the udu is sheer perfection. Only the last line is in Hebrew, “I wish I were a flower or a tree.”
Lately I tend to shy away from the global oriented one world sonic philosophy that certain artists attempt to bring to the table simply in an effort to make a quick buck. Lua Hadar is different as she is the musical and cultural by product of her own experience and is simply attempting to share that with the world. What we do with our experience is up to us. A breath of fresh air at a time the world in general and music specifically are in dire need.
A true winner!
Tracks: Bridge Over Troubled Water; Beyond The Sea; Raha Mbola Misy; San Francisco; Child Of Man; Imagina; Sukiyaki/Ue O Muite Aruko; Ojala Que Llueva Cafe; Isfahan; Stregata Dall’amore/Ravel’s Bolero.
Lua Hadar: multilingual vocals; Jason Martineau: piano, music director, arranger; Dan Feiszli: acoustic & electric bass; Celso Alberti: drums; Ian Dogole: udu, dumbek, shakers, cajon; Larry De La Cruz: alto, tenor, soprano sax & flute.
Special guests: Dave Miotke; Emil Miland & Fumiko Ozawa.