Alba Neiva, is the muse of five young men in their thirties who take over their own cultures to offer us a melancholy musical journey with mixed rhythms.
On November 28, 2018, The Sunset Jazz Club in Paris, hosted the release of Alba Neiva‘s debut album. Alba Neiva, this multicolored muse imagined by a quintet of young people including Didier Lockwood, who left us too quickly, would have been proud because four of them met at his school the CMDL. “He was a beautiful soul” says Lucile Chriqui, the singer, “he would have been happy to discover Nils and see our course.”
Nils Frechilla, is the mainstay of the quintet. When he was a teen, he started playing guitar and wanted to play like Jimmy Hendrix. Found of rock and blues, he discovers Biréli Lagrène that he does not like immediately but that makes him discover “all that one could do with a guitar“. Then he discovers Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery while taking classes at Atla school under the leadership of Serge Merlaud. But for this first album of which he signs the majority of the titles, it is the meeting between his Spanish origins and the jazz which guides him in his compositions: “I always listened a lot of Latin music, salsa, flamenco, Argentine music, without playing but when I started to compose, what came is a mix of everything I loved in jazz and in these musics. ”
A first album is a bit like a first novel …
A first album is a bit like a first novel, a first film, a first work : we tend to look for the youth weaknesses but also what will be the originality of a new aesthetic or an assumed choice .
From the first title we are fixed. It will be a Latin-Arab-Andalusian musical travel album. An aesthetic that promotes sharing and carries a message of miscegenation “Indeed with a son of Spanish émigrés, a Moroccan girl, a West Indian bassist, a drummer fed by the West Africa’s rhythms and a saxophonist open on the world, we mix everything and it gives Alba Neiva ” says Nils. ” For me it’s like a goal, that the music has a social, political impact with a message through emotions, that’s how I want to act in this world. To try to relieve the evils by the words, by the music ” Lucile emphasizes.
Then in the second title Del Ayer, carried by Lucile’s sweet voice highlighted by Maxime Berton‘s velvety sax, milonga dance at Nil’s fingertips. The voices respond to one another, intermingle, rise to settle on multicolored notes. The tone is given, for the whole album.
Lucile Chriqui comes from a family of painters and writers. She started playing the piano at the age of 5, but singing quickly became a challenge: “I loved singing, I could sing alone but not in front of others. I had so much to say that I needed to get there. So I started taking classes and attending the Paris Jazz Conservatory with Sarah Lazarus”.
Maxime Berton is difficult to classify. Virtuoso nourished by multiple influences, he could be the worthy heir of Rollins, Henderson and Brecker together. And it is for his improvising talents that Nils went to look for him: “When I started this project, I wanted an improvisatory instrument in addition to the voice because I always thought two voices composing. So I contacted Maxime. And it’s good ! “… If it is not that we could regret the side a little wise of his acolytes facing his jokes. “No it’s wanted! Initially we wanted to make songs that speak to everyone and as we have beautiful harmonies with a saxophonist a little crazy, there is something for everyone “says Nils. “There is probably a balance to be found. We are searching »underlines Lucile« Maxime is an incredible improviser but there is also Zacharie Abraham on the double bass who brings a particular groove, an esthetics which comes to him from his Antillean origins. We did not want Jazz musicians but musicians also opened to other colors. On rhythmic we have the wonderful Arthur Alard. For once we had our two years at Lockwood’s Jazz school together and Arthur has a very very fine game. ”
Here is a beautiful album, self-produced and financed by crowdfunding, whose cover was signed by Jacky Chriqui, Lucile’s dad. Our young quintet is proud to hear it now on Fip, Rfi, France Bleu radios and of course Couleurs Jazz Radio. … Here is a good start for this charming quintet that deserved a HIT COULEURS JAZZ and which we are already waiting for the second opus. To be continued…