FOR A JAZZ GODDESS,  just one rehearsal is enough ...

 

A long-drawn "Oooouuuuhhhhh" fills the hall in the grand theater of Fellbach College of Music. An "Oooouuuuhhhh" coming straight from the deepest depths of the Greek soul, far behind the sea horizon. Natassa Mare, the Greek jazz singer, and songwriter meets four great musicians in the framework of the European Cultural Program and shows in the full of people hall all the incredible things she can do with her voice. She sings about a girl who - with her thunderbolt bracelets - goes to bring water from the source, for a young woman who does not want to come home because she waits in the garden for her lover, for the endless open wide sea swirling and waving, for a lemon tree that rustlingly tells the story of a child that sits under its shadow. It is her voice, which makes these two and a half hour concert so special - because she sings, but also just as an instrument, she produces all kinds of sounds and noises. Melodious phrases alternate with sharp screams, she clacks, and whispers, she rolls the "R", she sighs and cheers. If you listen to Hans Fickelscher (drums), Wolfgang Fuhr (saxophone), Filippos Kostavelis (piano) and Georgios Smyrnis (bass) accompany the gifted singer, you would never believe that they all met only a few hours ago. [...]"There is a worldwide jazz language that everyone understands and speaks." This evening, the audience understands perfectly this language and is deeply touched. From the self-composition of Fickelscher to an Arabic word to the requiem of a woman for her deceased man, Natassa Mare vocally crossovers and lift off the whole palette of emotions.

 

Claudia Bell

Fellbacher Zeitung, Stuttgart

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Le CD, "The Embrace", de Natacha Mare m’a énormément impressionné. Natacha chante avec délicatesse, douceur et talent. Quelle voix admirable ! Quelle sensibilité ! Tout cela m‘a paru très émouvant et je lui prédis une grande et belle carrière. Tous mes compliments pour ce travail musical où la voix et les instruments forment un tout extrêmement uni, complémentaire et d’une exceptionnelle et même aristocratique qualité. Vraiment Natacha Mare a du talent et mérite d’être connue en France et ailleurs dans le monde car son interprétation forme, avec la musique qui la soutient, la prolonge parfois et l’accompagne toujours, un ensemble tout à la fois doux, accordé, harmonieux, mélodieux, rythmé avec émotion, raffin ement et subtilité. C’est du grand art car le registre de la voix est ample, très nuancé, capable de susciter une émotion réelle par la délicatesse très poétique de l’expression. Admiration sincère !!!

- I have been tremendously impressed by Natassa’s Mare CD, entitled "The Embrace". Natassa sings with such finess, sweetness, and talent. What an admirable voice! What great sensitivity! All my compliments for this musical work, where the voice and the instruments form an extremely united whole. Compliments for the uniqueness, and exceptional aristocratic quality. Really Natacha Mare has talent and deserves to be known in France and elsewhere in the world as her interpretation forms sometimes extend and always accompanies the music all at once, sweet, granted, harmonious, melodious, rhythmic with emotion, refinement, and subtlety. This is great art because the register of the voice is ample, very nuanced, able to arouse a real emotion by the very poetic finesse of the expression. Sincere admiration !!! 

 

Jacques Cortès
Chevalier des Palmes académiques
Chevalier de l’Ordre national du mérite
Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur
Spécialiste en didactologie des langues et des cultures
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Cortès

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For artwork, we have naked bodies in various states of embrace telling graphically what is happening aurally on this singular album where flamenco/classical guitarist Jason Carter teams up with Greek neoclassical singer Natassa Mare for a meeting of musical minds. The skin-on-skin feel of the booklet seems to let us know that bodies were made for embracing, they fit together so well. It's a mirror image of the aromatic nylon strung music and lingering voice of two people who fit so well together musically, it's joy and peace to listen to. The mournful descending chords and smartly executed arpeggios of the British guitarist are inspired and quite moving. In "Guten Morgen Mein Angel" (if angels do listen to music then this is the sort they would listen to) the sweetness of the morning calls to me through music that is both aching with weight and airy with its lightness. If you ever wondered what the Sirens sounded like when they sang to Ulysses then Natassa's haunting voice may be somewhere near it. Sometimes when the word "classical" is mentioned many popular music lovers switch off, but it would be wrong to write this off as a strict measure by measure classical performance. There are overtones of jazz, world, flamenco, sitar, Greek and even the simplicity of children's nursery rhymes with hints of a number of other styles besides. None of the songs are sung in English but it matters not a jot. 

 
Paul Poulton
Cross Rhythms, USA

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Jason Carter is a classical-flamenco-world guitarist, who collaborates with artists from across the globe. Natassa Mare is a Greek singer. Together, they are unlike anything I have yet heard. [...] How to describe a collection so unique, and without any obvious reference points? For a few starters, try the hypnotic guitar patterns and ambience of Note For A Child - (“Infinity Fields”) - mixed on the faster runs with a dash of mid-years Gordon Giltrap, while Mare gives us a more upbeat and sensual version of the resonant vocals in Gorecki’s Third Symphony - (“Going Home”) - seasoned - (on “Marks Piece”) - by occasional bursts of Kate Bush. Tracks here could accompany various scenes, from Lord of the Rings moments to bright whirls of dancing undersea life.

 

Rarities usually prove to be either oddballs or treasure. This disc is definitely one of the latter.

 

Derek Walker
Phantom Tolbooth, USA

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