Avishai Darash – Hope and Despair (ENG review)

ConCreate productions – Available
Avishai Darash – Hope and Despair

One day, an email arrives at the editorial office from Avishai Darash. Over the years, true contacts are formed, often unspeakable, and I was happy about that; it was followed by small messages to inquire if the album had arrived. It took a few weeks, Avishai being a musician whom I particularly appreciate, a man of great culture, an excellent pianist and composer, of total humanism as evidenced by the words he puts on this project:

“In response to recent global events, I have decided to create a nine-part album that reflects my experiences amid the current turmoil and uncertainty. As narratives change by the moment and currents of consciousness evolve, I have found a way to express my perspective and contribute to a legacy of unity and love through the language of music. Collaborating with my favorite musicians – Shayan Fathi, Ivan Ruiz Machado, and Antonio Moreno Glazkov – has transformed what might seem like a simple concept into an achievement that holds both personal and global significance.”

Indeed, this album is a reconciliation and love album, where one feels the emotion of each musician, the need to see this project through, bringing a breath of fresh air into a world in turmoil where everything is on the grounds of uncertainties. Avishai Darash digs into the notes, sketches the melodies, invites a fresh look, and even his way of composing is different from previous projects, going further. Avishai declares:

“I have titled this album ‘Between Hope and Despair’ to encapsulate the spectrum of these two emotions, allowing me to delve into the very essence of creativity and explore the origins of my ideas. Thanks to their exceptional virtuosity, sensitivity, and maturity, my chosen collaborators have elevated this project, highlighting the deep connection that music can foster in a world aspiring to compassion and understanding. In essence, it is an exploration of the human experience set to music with the aim of resonating with a world eager for comfort.”

What is in these compositions is a form of lightness and hope, probably an invitation to contemplate the world rather than being carried away by the dwarves that can take on a whole host of faces. Avishai Darash uses poetic form in his dialogue with the listener, on a complex composition but one that allows everyone to enter his project. What we particularly appreciate in this album is not only the beauty of the compositions and arrangements, but also the emotion that emanates from it. This musician and composer is one of the talented geniuses of our era; let’s not overlook him, and certainly not this album. Jazz is a political form of music, which has always served the cause of the oppressed. Avishai has a significant place in it because he speaks not only for himself and his own but for all; his music is universal.

Strangely, the album ends with the track “Midnight Express,” giving a sense of escape. Those who, like me, have witnessed population movements will see a profound meaning in this album’s conclusion. Undoubtedly, Avishai Darash is testifying here to what tears souls and populations apart, whereas with a good dose of respect and humanity, everything could have been resolved long ago. Needless to say, this album is “essential,” not only for each of us but for humanity as a whole.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, April 23rd 2024

Follow PARIS-MOVE on X


To buy this album


Avishai Darash – Piano/ Rhodes/ Composition
Antonio Moreno Glazkov – Trumpet
Ivan Ruiz Machado – Bass
Shayan Fathi – Drums
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shayan Fathi at Camaleon Music Studio (Madrid, Spain).
Video created by Noah Shaye for Shaye Audio Visuals.