(…) That the hall was almost completely filled was due to the impression that Elin and Sakas had left in the same place during their previous performances. Now they were in Olching for the fourth time. They themselves spoke of a kind of living room they always like to come to.
Both musicians know each other very well, have been complementing each other in their musical inclinations for five years, recognize the qualities of each other without envy and are passionate instrumentalists who think empathetically and act in solidarity. Their repertoire fully meets the chamber music demands of the Olching series. In addition to their classic based direction, the unpredictability of jazz is misled by their interpretations, oriental expressions and asian composition ideas find their way into their pieces. It is mostly pastel tones and introspective attitudes that are cast into sound. No glamorous standards and no classic quotes. Instead, wonderful instrumental dialogues that come across as an intelligent and entertaining conversation, that are close to an inner exchange of ideas and beliefs, and that exude something worldly.
The instrumental parts found a touching and at the same time challenging language. It was like the sensitive courting of the other person. Differentiated ballads that filled the room like improvised chamber music. But there were also grooving moments that gave the music wings, so that it began to shine intensely. Of course, classical music is the inspiration and references to Chopin and Stravinsky can be discerned. It was the magic of touching moods and the soul-opening sound landscapes.
Le talent de Christian Elin et de Maruan Sakas ne s'arrête pas à la maîtrise quasi parfaite de leurs instruments, mais ils maîtrisent également l'art de la composition et de l'improvisation. Le concert de ce 3 mars a permis aux spectateurs d'entendre les titres qui composent leur dernier CD «Some kind of Blues». Musique classique et jazz se marient naturellement dans des compositions originales vigoureuses et reposantes, les deux musiciens, ou plutôt les deux instruments, le piano et le saxophone ou la clarinette, se répondent, dialoguent, s'isolent pour mieux se retrouver.
La complicité et la virtuosité des deux musiciens ne font qu'accentuer ce sentiment de plénitude musicale ressenti par le public qui n'a pas manqué d'applaudir et de rappeler à plusieurs reprises les deux instrumentistes.
La Dépêche du midi
This really risky integration of very different styles and compositional techniques succeeded, primarily through the structural quality of the compositions, a first class and well attuned duo playing brilliantly in striking harmony, giving their own introductions and fascinating artistically...
Anyone attempting to sketch the main characteristics of the new CD would have to point out the fine balance between reflection and playful instinct, musical intelligence and sensuality, precision of form and letting go, groove and free rhythms. Here musical freethinkers are at work who are open to all musical forms that do not operate according to the predictable, the cliché. Christian Elin and Maruan Sakas combine the art of architecture with the art of eloquent and emotional rhetoric.
Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung
The entire concert was a distillate of wonderful melodies, based on smooth harmonies and which fascinated in their often polyrhythmic stimulation even without percussionist. Despite all the solo skills of both musicians, it was above all the musical interaction, the interweaving of inspiration and empathy that made this late morning something very special.
Sound diversity, rich compositional creativity, virtuosity on the instrument, as soloists as well as in interaction and with a maximum of emotion: that's how the duo Elin-Sakas got the best out of their enthusiastic k1 audience. In their musical interaction, they manage to create something excitingly new and unconventional: something that could be called a type of virtuoso chamber jazz. Thus, the two met exactly the taste of the k1 guests, who celebrated the special concert at the end with frenetic applause.
Passauer Neue Presse
A very cheerful "folklore imaginaire" that floats freely between cultures and yet forms its own identity.
Maruan Sakas and Christian Elin did not choose classical composers for their debut repertoire. But both come from this environment when it comes to their training. However, their versatility has always been remarkable. In this duo they now combine piano and bass clarinet or soprano saxophone. The result on "Some kind of blue" is a kind of vituos chamber jazz, without attitudes and without known sound templates. Her instruments interlock with fragmentary sketches. It is a subtle network of interactions that the players design, a differentiated dialogue, with sufficient distance and astonishing closeness. There is friction and there is tension. This not only creates harmonious paths but also angular interjections that add spice and clarity to the music. A discovery!
Right from the first track of the CD, "En Route",Elin elates the listener with his flexible transition from bass clarinet to soprano sax. In unison with the pianist he introduces the theme and captivates the listener with improvisations in which the excitement and anticipation before a journey can be sensed. “Un pas jusqu’au seuil”, is a further highlight in the art of duo playing, in which each artist in turn opens the festive sounding piece with a solo, until they join together playing the ballad-like theme. The melodic richness which the musicians create in their improvisations never sounds calculated, but takes place as naturally as breathing. With the delicate sound impressions of "The Scent of Light" Christian Elin and Maruan Sakas bring their gorgeous recording "Some Kind of Blues" to an end.