Anna Margolina, One Endless Night Review
Anna Margolina’s Debut Album One Endless Night – A Transcending Journey of Emigration Through Jazz
By Sylvannia Garutch
Anna Margolina’s debut album, One Endless Night, was released under the XJAZZ!Music label in June 2023 is an auditory journey that encapsulates the emotions and experiences of her immigration from Minsk to Berlin. As a work of exquisite musical storytelling, it portrays Margolina’s unique life trajectory through a mélange of captivating jazz compositions.
Margolina, already an accomplished performer in her own right with the “Andrej Hermlin Swing Dance Orchestra” and the ensemble “Kaminer & Die Antikörper,” channels her remarkable singing into this heartfelt musical narrative. Known for her versatile range and emotive delivery, her performance on this album is no less impressive. Her voice—warm, ethereal, and pulsating with a phenomenal sense of rhythm—forms the cornerstone of this musical odyssey.
Balancing traditional Western jazz elements with her European sensibilities, Margolina’s album is an unlikely piece of cross-cultural fusion. “Hiding” has a modern jazz aesthetic that would be enjoyed by any Western modern jazz fan. While “Shadows and Light” is accentuated by an uncanny suggestiveness and flows with an evident European sensibility. The album embraces the improvisational freedom characteristic of both jazz hemispheres while still maintaining a contemporary sound that firmly situates it in the present.
The album’s narrative journey is further underscored by the innovative compositions and arrangements by Conor Cantrell, a fellow world wanderer. Margolina’s powerful vocals are supported by an ensemble of talented musicians, including Kenneth Berkel on piano, Lisa Buchholz on the flugelhorn, Hendrik Nehls on bass, and David Guy on drums. Their synergy breathes life into Cantrell’s compositions, effectively carrying the listener through the highs and lows of Margolina’s life story.
From the melancholic introspection of “Motherless Child” to the climactic resolution of “Chaos and I,” each of the eight tracks in One Endless Night is a chapter in Margolina’s immigration story. While the compositions explore various themes like loneliness, identity search, and personal confrontations, they also depict the liberating kindness of strangers and the hopeful resolution of arrival.
Though not without its somber moments, One Endless Night presents a balanced, primarily positive exploration of Margolina’s immigration experience. Its thematic strength, combined with Margolina’s compelling vocal performance and the accompanying musicians’ skilled improvisation, make it an album worth experiencing.
One Endless Night is an engaging confluence of Western and European jazz elements, delivering a contemporary sound that pushes the boundaries of the genre. Its melodies, deeply rooted in the narrative of Margolina’s journey, add an extra layer of depth to the album, making it a compelling listen for fans of both jazz and storytelling.
One Endless Night is an emotive, rhythmically charged debut album that bridges the divide between Western and European jazz with unerring grace and musical aplomb. Margolina’s versatile talent is a shining beacon throughout the project. This album is not solely a source of entertainment—it aspires to enlighten, stir, and reverberate within its audience, drawing them into Margolina’s exquisitely depicted voyage of emigration. The music also presents a narrative that elegantly pushes exploration, providing a profoundly moving sonic experience that traverses new terrains and skillfully weaves together the distinct attributes of European and Western jazz.