About the album
Metromara is her band. "Metro stands for the metropolis of Amsterdam, where we got together, and Mara, well, that’s me," Mara Minjoli explained. And the title of her debut CD says it all. This alone already proves that the singer wants to fulfill her dream of cross-genre music without purist dogmas. The best of what she likes, actually something to be taken for granted for the 29-year-old born in Bochum, Germany. "I like Stevie Wonder, Charles Mingus, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Carmen McRae, Joni Mitchell and the Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote. I also like traditional jazz, soul, hip hop, R'n'B and electronic music. Each element has influenced, encouraged and inspired me musically. There is nothing that I want to exclude." What other choice is there than to combine it all somehow. Easier said than done: after all, there are already enough ill-fated examples that failed miserably with their higgledy-piggledy style.
But Metromara, this congenial international sextet, uses a simple and clever formula. Where else could such a thing work better than in the great artistic freedom of jazz? Because jazz can now do (almost) anything, at least from the perspective of Jazz thing Next Generation, an illustrious series of young sound researchers, of which Metromara is now the 65th chapter of an equally varied as well as individual reading of that musical genre open in all directions. Grooves between nonchalant head-nodding beats and improvisational playfulness, smooth basslines and sound stories about a frog are just as much part of the sound as are exciting melodies that incessantly wind around each other but never lose the thread. How can something like that work? Thanks to a clear concept that Mara Minjoli retains even in the greatest confusion, her fascinating, undogmatic way of composing as well as her successful selection of instrumentalists, kindred spirits, who do not accept any limits in their urge for musical self-realization.