“[Tassignon] is an artist in the noblest sense of the word, one who points the way for other forms of human connection that have not yet been able to traverse.” Andrea Baroni, Tracce di Jazz, 7.11.2023
“This is more than just a successful album; it is an absolute must for connoisseurs of sophisticated music.” Jean-Claude Vantroyen, MAD, 15.11.2023
“A fascinating combination far away from any “ethno-clichés”, which uniquely combines contemporary jazz with Arabic-influenced poetry.“ Pierre Dulieu, Dragonjazz, 27.10.2023
“In a harmonious fusion, poetic Arabic verses, crafted by Tassignon herself, intertwine with jazz infused with European and US influences, creating a heartfelt blend that inevitably warms the soul.” Virgin Jazz Face, 16.11.2023
Interview in MAD, Le Soir, Jean-Claude Vantroyen, 18.11.2023
Arabic Poetry with Modern Jazz
Stemming from the Arabic word for “imagination“, “Khyal” can be translated as the ‘memory of and longing for something long gone’. Sophie Tassignon’s “Khyal” is a musical meeting of cultures. This music represents the tolerance and acceptance of peoples from around the world regardless of background or belief system, and offers a glimpse into the beauty and artistry that can arise through cross-cultural collaborations.
Vocalist and composer Sophie Tassignon is known for her unique timbre and her beautifully intricate compositions and arrangements, as have been heard in both her solo project and the chamber jazz quartet AZOLIA. Next to her all encompassing musical existence, Tassignon has a deep seated interest in cultures from around the world and fluency in a variety of languages, which she makes apparent on her solo release with RareNoise Records.
In 2017, due to her work with Syrian refugees in Berlin, Sophie Tassignon decided to begin learning the Arabic language and to seek a deeper understanding of Arabic culture. This work has in turn led to the development of her newest project, KHYAL.
KHYAL blends poetic Arabic texts with jazz traditions from Europe and North America. Some of the songs performed by the group of five international Berlin-based musicians is centred around the words of Mohammad Mallak, a Syrian scriptwriter and playwright who resides in Berlin, and acts as editor in chief of Saiedet Souria magazine. The rest of the poems are Tassignon’s lyrics translated by Lebanese poet Hicham Nasr as well as Emirati poet Ousha Bint Khalifa.
KHYAL’s first album will be released on October 20th, 2023 on Belgian label de W.E.R.F.
Sophie Tassignon: voice
Peter Ehwald: tenor saxophone
Peter Meyer: guitar
Roland Fidezius: bass
Klaus Kugel: drums
“The CD opens cinematically with ‘Everybody Knows.’ … A small revolution in about six minutes, characteristic of the entire CD.”” Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazzhalo, 26.11.2023
Listen to Sophie Tassignon and Mohammad Mallak’s interview on rbb Cosmo Radio station online:
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