World Fusion • Albania
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Born in Tirana, Albania, in 1981 during the Communist regime, in an artist family, Elina Duni makes her first steps on stage as a singer at the age of five. In 1992 after the fall of the regime, she arrives in Switzerland and settles in Geneva together with her mother. Between 2004 and 2008 she studies singing and composition at the Hochschule der Künste Bern, in the jazz department. During this time she develops the Elina Duni Quartet with Colin Vallon on piano, Patrice Moret on double bass and Norbert Pfammatter on drums – which represents a return to her musical sources, a combination of Balkan folk songs and jazz. In 2008 the CD Baresha, first album of Elina Duni Quartet, is released on Meta Records and in 2010 follows "Lume Lume". Both albums receive great acclaim from the Swiss, German, Austrian and French Press and are followed by European tours and festivals. In read more...
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ELINA DUNI Baresha album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
World Fusion 2008
ELINA DUNI Lume Lume album cover 2.50 | 3 ratings
Lume Lume
World Fusion 2010
ELINA DUNI Elina Duni Quartet ‎: Matanë Malit album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Elina Duni Quartet ‎: Matanë Malit
World Fusion 2012
ELINA DUNI Muza E Zezë album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Muza E Zezë
World Fusion 2014
ELINA DUNI Dallëndyshe album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
World Fusion 2015
ELINA DUNI Partir album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
World Fusion 2018
ELINA DUNI Aksham album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
World Fusion 2019
ELINA DUNI Lost Ships album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lost Ships
World Fusion 2020

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Album · 2010 · World Fusion
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Elena Duni fails to impress allmost on all levels-her voice has nothing special, the jazz arrangements are under average, the choice of songs isn't the most inspired(at least to my taste). Two of the best songs on this album are the Romanian traditional folklore songs, one of them "Lume ,Lume" also gives the title of the album and it means "People,People" and not "World,World"(Google translation?). To understand my rating, just listen to the best version of "Lume,Lume" as sung by Maria Tanase( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79QVepeBrWA ) , kind of Romanian Edith Piaf.If you'll listen carefully to both versions you'll realize that Elina Duni 'tries'(it took me a very careful listening after hearing the words in Mara Tanase's interpretation to realize that Elena Duni actually sings also in romanian) to sing in Romanian.'Ki zandana me kamerav' is also supposed to be a Romanian traditional song although I wasn't able to recognize the song, neither did my wife who knows this kind of music better than me. IMO the only original thing in this album is the combination of straight jazz (as played by the band) with the ethnic songs sung by Elena Duni. Nothing special in this album, neither the jazz, nor the balcanic music.


Album · 2010 · World Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Just two decades ago "Albanian Jazz" would have sounded like a bad joke - the poorest European country after almost half a century of a Communist/Maoist regime wasn't exactly jazz heaven for sure. Things started to change (slowly) in the 90s and Elina Duni is one of the very first Albanian artists playing and becoming well-known around Europe.

Elina was born in Tirana,under still Communist Albania in 1981, but in 1992 she left the country with her family for Switzerland. Between 2004 and 2008 she studied singing and composition in the jazz department at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern. At that time she formed her quartet - with three young Swiss jazz musicians.

Lume Lume ("World World") is their second release (on German Meta label). The main attraction to this work is the unusual combination of a cool, almost chamber jazz trio and a Balkan folk vocalist who doesn't even try to sing jazzy! On the other hand, the other three musicians, differ from the usual world fusion band and don't even try to use any folklore elements in their music. As a result, this recording is music in which the vocalist sings almost authentic folklore (Balkan and Greek)supported by chamber jazz acoustic trio, and it works!

Don't expect complex musicianship or virtuosity here, but after years of Balkan folk-based music fashion around Europe (from Serbian turbo-folk and Goran Bregovic to countless Balkan gypsy brass orchestras and Balkan-techno parties),this release is fresh air. No wonder this quartet played in a lot of jazz fests around France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and SE Europe and received good press everywhere.

Possibly it's significant that after eleven folk songs the album closes with Nick Drake's "Riverman". Elina can sing the jazz when she wants...

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