A Time to Remember

A Time to Remember

Following two albums with an earlier quartet and a solo outing on which she sang and played everything from piano to frame drum (Partir), Elina Duni formed a new quartet with less conventional instrumentation on the 2020 release Lost Ships. That quartet, and Duni’s fruitful run on ECM Records, continues with A Time to Remember. Featuring Rob Luft on electric and acoustic guitars, Fred Thomas switching between piano and drums, and Matthieu Michel swooping in with angelic flugelhorn, Duni’s group furthers the eclectic concept that she’s established so compellingly in her previous work. Her voice is transfixing in its clarity and versatility, whether she’s singing in English, French, or Albanian. Luft’s accompaniments are rich and atmospheric, and the way the program incorporates either piano or drums—but never both on one track—keeps the group sound always shifting and unexpected. From a sophisticated Broadway show tune like “Send in the Clowns” to haunting traditional material from Albania and Kosovo, not to mention five originals co-written with Luft and a moving account of the late Charlie Haden’s “First Song” (with Abbey Lincoln’s lyrics), Duni continues to pursue a truly distinctive musical vision.

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