Duality
Release date: March 3, 2023
Label: Self-release

Lebanese-Canadian drummer, composer, educator and producer Sanah Kadoura presents her dynamic sophomore album Duality. A follow-up to 2018’s critically-acclaimed Hawk EyesDuality focuses thematically on the balance between light and dark. Musically, the album traverses the modern jazz idiom with hints of neo-soul and a strong musical influence from Kadoura’s motherland of Lebanon. Sanah is in prime company on this innovative release, joined by a diverse ensemble featuring top musicians from New York City and Canada. Kadoura’s impressive band includes Stacy Dillard on soprano saxophone, Rachel Therrien on trumpet and flugelhorn, Virginia MacDonald on clarinet, Joanna Majoko on vocals, Michael King on piano, Jonathan Michel on bass, Parham Haghighi on vocals, and Flavio Silva on guitar.

After living in New York City for a decade, Sanah Kadoura has quickly risen to prominence as a first-call drummer and an inventive composer. Kadoura has a special approach to her playing, a rare musicality that infuses melody and nuance into each rhythmic refrain. Whereas Hawk Eyes intrigued and excited audiences about Kadoura’s singular sound, Duality cements the artist’s position as one of the forefront creative composers on the modern jazz scene, telling a story of hope and resilience. “As we all navigate through our own internal balance, this album is an offering of healing, guidance and love,” she shares. “We all have our own battles, and I think it’s easier for us as humans to connect with each other through darkness, and find the light together.”

The opening composition “The Gemini’s” strikes an ominous chord to start the album, conjuring a feeling of darkness. The horns and vocals build mountains of hope, creating a landscape of soaring melodies over each other. An intensity that peaks with powerful vocal lines above the interwoven melodies. “The Seer, The Soarer” clearly shows the balance between the light and dark and the intertwining of the two, melding two very different grooves into one cohesive piece. “The Seer, starting and ending the composition, feels like the on-looker, the observer. While the heavy J-Dilla groove in the middle depicts the freedom, sheer power and lightness of the Soarer,” Kadoura notes.

The title track “Duality”, places the listener in a mystical land. A beautiful and unique melody is soulfully executed by vocalists Parham Haghighi and Joanna Majoko. Soprano saxophonist Stacy Dillard and clarinetist Virginia MacDonald share the first solo in what would be the ultimate DualityPianist Michael King offers a wonderful solo before ushering back in the vocal melody. Slowly, Rachel Therrien joins on flugelhorn and Jonathan Michel on bass next, building into a powerful melodic section. “Duality” is a true ensemble piece.

“When It’s Time”, brings a wistful element to the album. This folk-infused waltz features tremendous improvisation from the ensemble and offers listeners a true moment of compassion. “This composition somehow feels sad and hopeful at the same time,” notes the composer.

Zaytoon” is dedicated to Sanah’s mother, and is a love letter to her Lebanese background. One can hear the intricate driving rhythms of the region and the implications of micro-tonal melodic movement. The piece features a wonderful vocal performance from Haghighi.

“Rise” featuring vocalist Joanna Majoko is the perfect send-off to this vibrant release. Kadoura notes “Being the only track with words, the message is an uplifting swell for anyone who has come up against the dark.” Majoko provides a warm, soulful vocal performance over a tight neo-soul-tinged groove expertly laid down by the stellar rhythm section. The piece strikes a hopeful, joyous note, drawing listeners from the dark to the light, and is a fitting closer for this powerful project.

LEONID AUSKERN
JAZZ QUAD
Read the review in Russian here.

CHLOE RABINOWITZ
BROADWAY WORLD
Read the album announcement here.

RUSSELL TRUNK
EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE
Read the album announcement here.

HUGH MORRIS
JAZZWISE
“A versatile voice worth keeping an eye on.” Read the review in the April 2023 issue of Jazzwise Magazine.

EDITOR
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
Listed under 'Recommended New Releases.' Read the full March 2023 issue here.

RICHARD KAMINS
STEP TEMPEST
“One of the more fascinating is how often Ms. Kadoura uses two or more 'voices' to express the song's thematic material.” Read the review here.

DEE DEE MCNEIL
MUSICAL MEMOIRS
"Sanah steps into stage center with her trap drums and shows off both technique and spontaneity." Read the review here.

HANNAH EDGAR
DOWNBEAT
"..Duality will decisively signal Kadoura's arrival as a bandleader of command, clarity and serious composerly chops." Read the 4-star review in the May 2023 issue of DownBeat Magazine.

ALLEN SCOTT
ALL THAT'S JAZZ
Listen to the full podcast interview here.

GEORGE W. HARRIS
JAZZ WEEKLY
"Kadoura guides the team like a traffic cop on the mult facedted “Zaytcon” with tons of intricate and clever interplay on”Rise”" Read the review here.

EDITOR
MODERN DRUMMER
"Her music lives in the modern place somewhere between adventuresome swing, globally influenced hip hop, and well composed rock and pop." Read the review here.

MATT MICUCCI
JAZZIZ
Check out her feature on the editors playlist here.

TOM HAUGEN
TAKE EFFECT
"The Lebanese-Canadian artist Sanah Kadoura is a women of many talents, and she brings her drumming, composing, and vocal skills to these 9 tracks that benefit from many guests for the infectious jazz fusion formula." Read the full review here.

THIERRY DE CLEMENSAT
PARIS MOVE
"One enters this work as one enters a theater, listening intensely, emotions rushing, and the fact that Sanah is an excellent drummer adds to the construction of “Duality” without ever being redundant or tiresome." Read the full review here.

SOPHIA VALERA HEINECKE
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"She leads with intention and makes it count, denoting a soft acceptance of harsh realities but never relinquishing power, dancing in her seat as the show ended. " Check out the full review here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *