HISTORY

Portion from the book ‘Djabe – 20 years in sounds of freedom’ by László N. Göbölyös

The first album is simply called Djabe. Like many bands over the world, Djabe also thinks of it’s first album as a kind of early age green, but recognize the fandom’s generally positive attitude towards it. The attitude possibly comes from the collage of thriving, and parts of experimental sounding and envisioning that bloomed in the next 20 years, gaining clarity. Here, everything is refreshingly raw, almost unkempt but none at all near chaotic. The introduction states “Djabe consists of Novus Jam members and friends”. Besides the founders András Sipos, Attila Égerházi, Tamás Barabás, Ferenc Muck quartet we have, from the previous band, Judit Gesztelyi Nagy, Tibor Karvaly and Tamás Rácz. Foretelling the future, we also have Ferenc Kovács and his trademark trumpet and violin plays.
The album was mostly composed by Attila, with either Sipi or Tibi Karaly as a sidekick in creation. Other Novus Jam musicians and guests were only ad hoc contributors. Djabe was not even the name of the band but just of the albums. In 1997, after the release of the album invitations for gigs were pouring in, and arose a want for creating new compositions. Attila and Sipi decided to create a solid band with stable line-up, to present the premiere of the album. This request was answered by the already contributed Tamás and Mucki. Feri Kovács was otherwise engaged and Tibor was too pre-occupied by his everyday work. This is the story of the duo of Djabe becoming a quartet, in 1997.
I also regard the first Djabe album as a personal favorite. Even it’s cover, featuring white mountains, the photos and drawings of the booklet, the uncanny dome of the Roman Pantheon covered by the disc itself, does it for me. The music, especially with today’s Djabe-tuned ears, is like peaking into a master’s notebook of early works, with drafts and finished or quasi-finished masterpieces. Of course this is not a judgement on quality, a draft can be perfect on its own, like the opening Camel Run, a duet of Mucki and Sipi, the Chase, a bass-conga rush across the savannah by Tomi and Sipi, the tender waves of Attila in Venezia, or the Late Night Drink, with its abundance of guitar akin to Jimi Hendrix-earlies. We hear the Djabe-hymn the first time, for which, 2 years later the well-known clip on the coach concluded, with Mucki as driver and Sipi as ticket inspector, and a colorful women’s ballet. Hungarian-born director László Nagy, now living and working in the States, said: “Who could forget the moment Feri Muck taking the driving wheel of an Ikarus 66 for the first (and possibly last) time in his life, and even reached for his saxophone to play for the camera. Or when Sipi tried to solve the dilemma of opening a door while carrying a large flat screen, with success”. László later directed the short film ‘Coffee Break’ for Djabe.
In Passage the faithful angklung keeps clanking. The four-movement opus of Leaving The Desert is a real pearl for a chamber for music with meditative guitars, thick solos of violin and saxophone and with its main theme, later recurring. Like Wainting For The Distant Dance, a piece that, after multiple reconstitutions, is a permanent element of gigs for 2 decades.
Mike Ezzo said: “One thing I enjoy about the current swell of musical activity in Hungary is the way it proves just how deep the well of quality really is. No single person could ever know all that there is to know about a certain genre. Djabe is just one such example of what I mean. And who knows how many others are floundering in obscurity waiting for someone to pick up on them? This eclectic improvising septet resembles Szamaba (see last issue) in how they come at the jazz target from a skewed angle; hearing how they dance around the bulls-eye without ever fully getting into a typical jazzy swing or groove is most curious indeed. Of the 17 short pieces on offer here, just one fits the standard be-bop song structure. But as the CD advances along, the terrain becomes more and more diverse, taking in references to African music (“Ocean”); Brazilian (“Sorcerer”); pre-Columbian Mexico (“Hagar Aim”); and beyond. “Passage,” for example, features little more than acoustic guitar and Javanese angklung percussion. As with AT Ensemble, no performer on drum set appears. The material however is much looser and free-flowing than AT, but never completely free-form. A strict structure is always prevalent to anchor the experimental pizazz they emblazon their work with. If in the future Djabe can just hit on a signature style, watch out! Recommended then, especially for the playing dexterity, but be prepared for some style jumping.” 

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

The making of the album ‘Sheafs are Dancing’ was inspired by the paintings of Imre Égerházi. In terms of editing method, one painting – one composition. Pieces are subscribed to Tamás Barabás and Attila Égerházi, with the addition of Ferenc Kovács and Zoltán Kovács in case of a few tracks. The album was the most successful release of the time by Djabe, and raised many heads in the professional scene across the world. It was the beginning of international success for the band. The album was nominated for MAHASZ Award in ‘best world music recording’ category in 2003. The disc itself is contained in a hard-case book of the paintings, hence the listener can enjoy the visual while playing the album. It was the first Djabe album to feature Steve Hackett, a beginning for many future releases and joint tours. His acceptance of Égerházi’s offer was more of a personal decision: Steve is quite fond of the art of painting, because of his father, and ex-wife. The next step was the release of the album’s new surround version where paintings could be enjoyed on the screen, too. This was the first DVD-Audio release of Djabe, and the first Hungarian release of this kind. The release was praised even by the audio engineers of Abbey Road where the authoring process taken place. It even received a PRince Award for ‘best multimedia release’ – not without a reason as the visual content consisted of not only paintings, but nearly a 100 creations and documentary videos of Imre Égerházi, including an animation clip of his near-death experience-inspired work ‘Iceworld’ and 6 other paintings, connected to it. The base for this unique experience was the painter’s own near-death experiences, his interview can be listened to as an audio commentary for the aforementioned animation clip. Furthermore, a partial video of the album premiere tour and a road movie is also included on the disc. The extra content was praised even in Los Angeles, and nominated for Surround Music Award in ‘extra content’ category. The multimedia experience was further developed along the premier tour, both video and audio wise. Music in surround not only existed in studio version but gigs were also presented in 5.1 sound. The band again returned to using background projections to show the title paintings, and other connecting creations and videos by Imre Égerházi which inspired the paintings. The gig started with a biography film about Imre Égerházi. This exemplary cross-art span was concluded in a gig at New Orleans Club, Budapest, Hungary in January 2004. The room next to the concert hall housed an exhibition of the paintings featured on the album. The visually augmented experience was followed by an unplugged version of the album. The 2-year long multimedia tour spawned the double-DVD album ‘Sheafs were dancing’, featuring multiple openings for Imre Égerházi expos, as Djabe performed regularly after 2004, the success of the unplugged concert. In 2016 the album was re-released with hard cover matching the original but featuring a double-CD format, with an extra concert disc. The release featured the title in English, an effect of the growing international success. The backbone of the content was the Tour 2003 Budapest material. One of the videos is from 2004, featuring saxophonist Viktor Tóth as band member and was recorded in the New Orleans Club. The last recording on the disc shows the 2015 joint concert with the Miskolc Symphonic Orchestra, performing together in the Bartók Béla National Concert Hall of Müpa. Djabe’s longtime dream came through with the birth of symphonic versions of ‘Flying’ and ‘Iceworld’.

Portion from the book ‘Djabe – 20 years in sounds of freedom’ by László N. Göbölyös

Paintings of an exhibition – a cliché enough title, and we would already have made a mess of it all. Not just because it’s already taken in cases of music and fine arts. Think about the works Mussorgsky, Ravel, Emerson, Tomita, but more to the point: the example of the 19th Century. Mixture of music and painting resulted in the music being the one to remembered. A period inspired by Viktor Hartmann (1834-1873), majority of the paintings of his lost to us. The oeuvre of Imre Égerházi (1925-2001), however, is still with us, with the son of his as a faithful guardian, and Djabe’s music as a re-interpretation. For the loss of a father, ensuring his life’s work is the best remedy of all. Like continuing his paintings, but instead of a brush with the use of sounds, musical instruments – and as we are talking about Djabe, besides the catalogue book of the album, the visual experience at live gigs are also part of this mix. For one, they turned the standard of video clip making around and tailored the music to the visual. After composing the paintings are added to this finished musical experience, the linked associations, document movie parts. In Attila’s opinion, the presence of the artist does not overpower the band but added something to expand the music. The parallels between paintings and music are presented on a silver plate, with fine tinges and seemingly static movements. It can be said that the ‘Sheafs’ is one of our days’ most beautiful impressionist music. Imre Égerházi took at least a little from impressionist air. Even the title track of the album shows a finesse of harmony as sheaves are truly human. I first met with the Master almost a decade after my first listening to Djabe’s album. In 2014, an exhibition was held in the aula of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Titled ‘Over our borders in the eyes of Imre Égerházi’, I could experience some paintings I already listened to. Even if Imre Égerházi used multiple techniques, for me the feeling of Djabe music was presented by paintings (or the other way around, but whatever) where wood fiber and oil paint meets in a unique, granulous impression. Examples are the ‘Thiérachei emlék’ or one of the variations of ‘Lengyelország felett’ (as Miklós Radnóti said ‘For one who flies above, this land is merely a map’ – this motif surfaces often), and as feelings met in the music from Northern France and Pannonian Basin to the Balkan, these painted pilgrimages melting into one coherent whole. The ‘Fátyol mögött’ literally looking into the eye of the beholder, through giant eyes of a woman and windows in the background. This has a musical imprint on ‘Sheafs’: affable (through the trumpet of Feri) but keeping its secrets. As a great lover of Italy, the two paintings of ‘Olasz táj’ said great many things to me: one red with sun and the other of early autumn, just like I seen on the train blazing through Toscana one year earlier. The Bulgarian paintings talked to me almost in the same way: ‘Sumeni táj’ and ‘Naplement’ (titled ‘Alkony a tengerparton’ on the album) – these paintings, seemingly without any human presence, showed me sleeping, resting and watching figures. Imre Égerházi loved the music of Djabe, and painted often while listening to it. “Now we turned the angle of inspiration around, and started to compose, effected by his paintings.” – said Attila in an interview for Gramofon. “I was too surprised of Tomi’s almost Bartók-like sensitivity for musically representing the feeling of paintings like ‘Téli Hortobágy’ or ‘Szemrehányás’. We had a challenge composing for paintings of the Great Plains, Hortobágy and Transylvanian or Carpathian Ruthenian scenery, as previously we operated with African, Arab, Indonesian and South-American effects.” The numerous Hungarian motifs, presented mostly by Feri’s rustic baroque violin play, can be very well acquainted to an Indian tabla played by Péter Szalai and a soprano saxophone by Ben Castle in the ‘Hajdúböszörményi utcarész’ – for Djabe it’s not a contradiction. As Attila said, if it must be explained, this is a way to “summon the taragot”. But no explanation needed for the presence of Steve Hackett who sounds his guitars in ‘Thiérache-i emlék’. A member of the band Genesis, a musician often associated with Djabe, is a universal talent who quickly finds his place in any new environment. “Djabe made me display an extreme musical and emotional reaction, and I think this is the point. To give an emotional charge to music even touching not just the audience but the musicians, too, resulting in a cathartic experience.” – said the band leader about Steve. Even if the album was inspired by a sudden loss, it’s not about the grief but the beauty of a legacy left behind. As one of the most emotional piece, ‘Iceworld’, before which we can hear the Master as an opening, reflecting on his near-death experiences as a commentary for the painting ‘Repülés’: “As I arrived, there was only ice. In the foreground in a pile of ice, seemingly standing, some people, but not standing staticly but moving with their own space of ice… way back objects of unknown form growing out of recesses, alive… one eye closing, another opening… way more back buildings of unknown geometry I never seen before, I draw them multiple times to give back my experience… maybe to be solved one day.” These things, seen by Imre Égerházi half-way, not only spawned a vision of sound, intensive even with its own inner peace, of trumpet, acoustic guitar and bass guitar but a video clip to literally bring life to the lines of the blue painting. At the beginning and end of the movie, moments of the life of the Painter is sweeping through like in a photo album, like a dying man’s last breath. In a conversation titled ‘Musicians of an exhibition’, Feri said that the sorrow in the music is not real pain, but the experience of understanding, the urge of understanding deeper meaning. Tomi told that at a exhibition in Debrecen, when playing the video for ‘Iceworld’, a young man stepped to him and ask what is this about? After Tomi telling about the background of the origin the young man confessed he had near-death experiences too, and the video showed exactly how he felt. But we can’t just walk by such pieces like ‘Szemrehányás’ and ‘Beszélgetők’. The two woman on the first, probably a mother and daughter, are felt not only feeling reproach towards each other, but – while the violin talking back increasingly to the ostinato main theme – resistance till desperation. The other, originally titled ‘Utcarész’, has two characters barely visible, and Zoltán Kovács’s piano solo truly represents a stillness of air in a village where even the smallest of happenings is a thing of awe and be talked about. Father and son finally take each other’s hand in the album’s last piece, ‘Virágcsendélet’, composed for acoustic guitar. We now know that this was Attila’s first composition, bloomed in the art studio of his childhood. The main motif of daydreaming often reoccurs on guitar, as a bass solo and with the vocal of Judit Herczeg. A composition is completed, a life is completed, and everything goes on. Tomi, in the interview quoted, remembers that this work was needed to strengthen the connections between band members. “There are some moments in life when one becomes older, wiser and more experienced, and this was such a moment in the band’s life” – Attila added. “In Hungary, you can listen to music that is just like the Hungarian reality. It includes our material reality but as a cleaner version” – said Sipi. “The album is very well composed, the most complex work to day, and this made apparent that the emphasis will shift around the band according to the wishes of the music but I found my place just perfect” – he pointed out. “Stern and easy, intellectual music is played by this band, broadened to six members (their compositions sometimes so movie score-like we see pictures appearing on the horizon of our imagination). ‘Sheafs are dancing’ brings even more than the success before (Ly-O-lay Ale Loya, Witchi Tai To, Update). The freshest about it is a Gesamtkunstwerk experiment: this time the marriage of visual arts and music is explored” – wrote János Csontos in the journal Magyar Nemzet, about the album. “The idea is not unknown, but the choosing of the painter makes it so: Imre Égerházi (1925-2001) was unequivocally classified as the member of the Great Plains school of painters, and this cage – even if he was pushing the envelope – could not be broken until his death. He remained faithful to Hajdúság and Hortobágy while painting the Transylvanian hills and the seaside – true, a bit like snowy mountains looking down on the Great Church, or the sea billowing at the edge of Böszörmény. The painter, who tried fusing tradition and modernism, embraced a mystic side when painting his near-death experiences: these canvases hold more than clichés and things indescribable with words, reporting from the border that waits for all of us. Attila Égerházi, one of the painter’s sons, is the band leader of Djabe. This album is in fact a salutation of a son before the legacy of a father. Luckily is not just visual art put to music: according to the catalogue of pictures of paintings included with the album is more of a re-imagining born by inspiration. ‘Beszélgetők’ and ‘Gyimesi hegyek’ are different kinds of successes; in the opus titled ‘Hóvihar’ an authentic folk-song can be heard behind the veil of music, and in ‘Iceworld’ Imre Égerházi’s monologue about the topography of his near-death experience is presented as a mental firmament besides the music. Everything is painted on a canvas so we must believe him. This (after) world is of tones grey, white and blue, its icemen and ice flora are alive and moving. Maybe we need to refuse the vision about a death described with warm colors?” Co-performance with a globally known celebrity (I would not like to call Steve a ‘pop-star’…) is a great testimonial for any band on the international waters. The movimentoprog.it, quoted earlier, starts with his critique about ‘Sheafs are dancing’ with an appreciation for Attila’s organization work of the Hackett-concert in Budapest, mentioning the agreement between Camino and Gramy about the distributing of the British musicians’ albums, and finally, the guest-starring of Steve on Djabe’s album.
“One of the pearls of 2003” – wrote the Italian critic, and after recognizing the influence of Pat Metheny and numerous progressive band of the ‘70s, he adds: “The whole album is transpierced by some unique intellectuality. An undefinable atmosphere known to people visiting Easter-European capitals like Prague or Budapest. Best example is ‘Téli Hortobágy’ where world music, folk and fusion are living together in harmony… The inspiration for the album also makes it unique. Imre Égerházi is a well-known and respected Hungarian painter, the father of Attila, passed away in 2001: he often got his inspiration from listening to Djabe. This time, the band pays its respect to an exceptional visual artist by getting inspiration from his paintings. The catalogue book, included with the album, is extraordinary: all the 15 paintings, a real clean source for the musicians thirsty for inspiration. The pretty scenery of ‘Tájak’ and ‘Fátyol mögött’, the beautiful, confusing ‘Szemrehányás’ of great finesse. The ‘Gyimesi hegyek’ is a folk-episode governed by the violin of Ferenc Kovács. And ‘Virágcsendélet’ is on a similar track…
…The full-bodied rhythmic section of András Sipos and Szilárd Banai (the critic obviously was oblivious of the Hungarian meaning of the drummer’s name – the author) serves as a charming amalgam between the violin and the trumpet (Ferenc Kovács). Jazz-tones are rich, thanks to Zoltán Kovács and the virtuoso bass player Tamás Barabás. Tamás’s sensual slap is often re-surfaces. Attila’s acoustic guitar embraces, Ben Caste’s enviable knowledge enrichens the music” – wrote the Italian critic, who called the ‘Triéache-i emlék’ by Steve “a luring bit of new age/soft rock”, the ‘Flying’ and ‘Iceworld’ a “ice-cold imagination between life and death”. The fusion of music and visual art, the sounds and visuals into one experience, a thing accustomed to Djabe before, paired with the guarding of the legacy of a father, resulting in a series of events and releases. ‘Sheafs are dancing’ is a paramount for Djabe to day – or it would be, Attila warns, as Djabe has no paramount and possibly never will have one. They aspire not upwards but forward, on ever widening roads, often hiding rifts and traps, but nothing can compel them to turn back.

Sheafs are dancing Tour
In the meaning of the word, the band done everything that can be as a creative artistic community.

“The material has been selected and edited with the utmost care. The visual fits perfectly into the music and sounding. Does not defer your attention, supplements the pieces well, or should we say, made one coherent whole with it. Seeing nowadays’ austere video clips this visual and audio effect almost means a dream come true…” – wrote a rapturous Attila Kiss in Stereo Magazine after the concert in Pecsa.
“…If the evening of 20th September should be defined I would say something about a Gesamtkunstwerk to best describe the experience. Besides music – hiding archive recordings even – paintings, pictures, movies appear. I may compare it to something experienced at a classic opera. But for me it means even more as this representation of the genre, defined as light music, should be among classics. Experiences, emotions, memories captured in music, with a good amount of creativity, the best and most of today’s technology and with maximalist execution, resulting in something unparalleled…
…Nearing the end of the performance I thought Djabe not only pays respect to, not only commemorates Imre Égerházi. This concert was more than that. Paintings re-defined by Djabe pieces, and the audience felt that while not painting with a brush but a guitar, Attila Égerházi stepped in the footprints of his father, with the same intellectuality. Seeds, fallen from the Sheafs dancing, spawned new life that evening…”
This concert is in the core of the 2006 double DVD release ‘Sheafs were dancing’, on which we can all see the performance again, made whole by moving paintings and video recordings, and opens with a video portrait of Imre Égerházi from materials of interviews and a news report, and finishes with a Djabe best of show. Exceptionally interesting is the folk video documentary complementing the painting ‘Gyimesi hegyek’, shot by Imre Égerházi and László János Nagy in 1972, at the first Csango Festival in Gyimes. Montage of ‘Szemrehányás’ also raises eyebrows, in which appears the artist’s village of birth, the rustic atmosphere of Hajdúhadház and Imre Égerházi’s mother and siblings. The backbone of the video was hand-picked by Attila from the 8mm material shot by László János Nagy introducing Imre Égerházi, in 1973. Other material mainly includes Super8 recordings shot by his father; these were used as visual background for the concerts. It was meant to help the audience understand the creations better, as the materials included were mainly shot at the place of inspiration for the paintings or while traveling. Imre Égerházi composed well not only on wood fiber canvas but with a camera, too. Projections show creations like the painting in question, expanding the horizons of the visual artistic theme. The Iceworld-clip, with a screenplay made by Attila from Imre Égerházi’s near-death experience, was made by the professional animation team of Focus-Fox Vide Studio based on the 9 paintings inspired by the master’s state of clinical death. A paramount for the performance was the perfectly timed live musical score. Permanence, tranquility, serenity, balance – these are the Artist’s professions of faith, these emotions must flow towards the audience and this is what is suggested by the complex pieces of ‘Sheafs’. With this performance Djabe toured around Hungary and neighboring countries – emphasis put on live surround sound on the posters. A good representation for the tour’s spirit that in October, the Corso restaurant in Sopron even made a special, unique menu called ‘What Sheafs are dancing to’ in honor of the band.
“Djabe consist of exceptional musicians, who are capable to create greatness in many styles. With sounding as colorful as our surrounding world. Without borders. While listening to it, the spirit and intellect can roam free. Be a painting or a rhythm thumped on an African drum, a sound on a piano, an accord of a guitar. Djabe achieves what is one of their dedicated goal: the freedom of spirit” – written in Veszprém Megyei Napló.


Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

“Djabe plan to continue the work even harder in 2008. We’ll finish Take On. Official release date for the CD is the 18th of February. DVD-Audio with extras will be released on the 27th of March. With the new album a tour will commence in 2008, through Europe, North America and Asia. Djabe will continue as a quintet, as position of the irreplaceable András Sipos will not be filled” – stated by a press release of the band.
Take On has the touch of András Sipos all over it, literally. All the percussion parts were played by him and vocals were recorded with only 3 exemptions. This unparalleled momentum surfaces in the opening Take On and later an amalgam of African rhythms, the violin of Öcsi and the tar of Malik Mansurov can be heard in Kilinama. This unison is quite peculiar: Steve is right to compare Malik to John McLaughlin. This duo makes the audience remember MacLaughlin and Jerry Goodman performing in the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Then And Now has something timeless about it, mostly because of the piano and the saxophone play of John Nugent. This is the first time of the American musician and manager of Rochester Festival as a guest star, who also introduced Djabe overseas. The same can be felt in Attila’s short, meditative solo, but the duo of Tomi and Szilu pauses the piece like a crossroad. The Latino-like Butterfly summons bands of the 60s, like Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass and Sergio Mendes’ Brasil ’66, in its main theme, as Feri knows even this kind of trumpet play method. At Night, nomen est omen, starts with a dreamlike trumpet but speeds up by Sipi, Tomi and Ko. Dreams can change rhythms, too, sometimes so disturbingly we even wake up from them! And another Latino-like, but different from the others: Los Sipos, a song to remember the Percussionist, played by himself. But even without him, this piece cannot be absent from the Djabe repertoire. Loose, easy, playful, dynamic and filled with joy – like the Sipi we remember.
Crazy Morning is rushing, flustering and short, with solos unfinishing, maybe only John gets some space. Opening sounds of Afro Dance could come from Graceland of Paul Simon (sorry for the numerous similes but musical parallels meet not in the infinite but in ourselves). Of course it changes all over again with vertigos of Ko and the again-guest starring Ben Castle, and at the end Attila’s electronic guitar widens the horizon of seeable sounds. Wind and Bells only have piano runs for disturbance, but where did this Indian drum imitation came from, followed by a funky saxophone and gypsy music that makes you want to dance? Sándor Budai and his band delivered as expected… the album’s most complex, surprising piece, my personal favorite! The African and Hungarian musical unison gets a great example in Sárika, with characteristic Sipi-vocals and a tone stretched till the Carpathians by Öcsi. End Of A Beautiful Day couldn’t be any other place than at the end of the album. The last (?) piece with Sipi, an end of an era. I imagine a video clip: Sipi steps out from the studio in Ráday street, walks along the street, looking back once more and says something, with unruly eyes, then continues his walk to the tram stop, camera gains distance and his figure fades away…
The album soon released in double side DVD, the video side sporting a 50-min recording of Sipi’s last gig, in Debrecen, Hungary at 7th of September, 2007. This makes the passing and the rite of remembrance complete.
“Even after the tragic loss, Djabe is stronger then ever. A proof of this is the charity and memorial concert for Sipi, made real by the band and Steve Hackett. Or the freshness and power of the album Take On. The new CD is a worthy successor for the band’s traditions, the represented musical value of theirs. The composing skills of Tamás Barabás integrate the knowledge of all the band members, resulting a new level of quality. Compositions are fresh, unique but nonetheless familiar. World music from Hungary and Azerbaijan, with jazz by multiple approach. Gigs are for showing this in full for the audience” – a Djabe revival-review by hzo.hu site.
Another fairly positive review was concluded by the Slovenian critic Rok Podgrajšek, giving 8/10 for Take On.
“You don’t hear the name of Djabe exactly mentioned on every street corner, or even at jazz or progressive rock gatherings. Djabe have sort of become lost within the boundaries of progressive rock, jazz and world music. They belong to each of these genres and to none of them. Their music surpasses simple genre definitions, which is a great credit to their music, but it also means that it hasn’t really found a niche. Recently, Djabe have been hit with a great tragedy with the loss of their singer and percussionist Sipos András, also known as Sipi. Take on features the last recordings Sipi ever made with the band. The album also includes a composition dedicated to Sipi, with the Genesis-influenced title of Los Sipos. This album has everyone that is great about Djabe, including an excellent live performance at the Debrecen Jazz Days. Djabe have a recognisable sound and it’s hard to mistake them for anyone else, but still every album is nothing like the rest. Because Djabe are not restricted by genre definitions and any other restrictions, they can just about use any combination of influences at any given moment. This gives them plenty of room to build and they make good use of it. While their main idiom of expression is almost always jazz (on this record as well), they always find ingenious ways to incorporate other musical elements, even when you would least expect them. Thus we hear plenty of world music influences, Latin music (Los Sipos), Romani (gypsy) music, folk, rock and occasionally even classical. It may sound chaotic, but actually Djabe make the music flow like a river and with a resounding musical quality to touch the deepest recesses of your heart. Their music is not only full of intelligent twists and turns, but also so full of feeling. You can truly feel their love for their music and it is reflected in the composition.”
Podgrajšek also praised the idea of a double-sided DVD. He liked the idea not just because it is a respectful way to remember Sipi:
“However, this was the last live performance of Sipi with the band, a week before his death and the band felt that under the circumstances it had to be released. It is a good choice because on one album you get the last Djabe studio album as well as a live performance, where Djabe are arguably at their best. Their free compositions are given even more freedom and room to manoeuver. Djabe are a very relaxed band with a fondness for performing and this can definitely be seen in this show as well.”

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

Sorry, this chapter is only available in hungarian.

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