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.
"Maruan Sakas und Christian Elin did not select any classical composers for their debut. However both come from this environment, as far as their musical education is concerned. Their versatility has always been remarkable. In this duet they now combine piano and bass clarinet as well as soprano saxophone. The result, on "Some kind of blues" is a kind of virtuoso Chamber Jazz, with neither airs, graces nor common patterns. Their instruments intertwine with fragmentary sketchiness. It is a subtle meshwork of interaction, that the artists create here, a sophisticated dialogue with sufficient distance but with astounding intimacy. There is friction and there is tension. Harmonious stretches evolve alongside angular interjections, which give the music zest and clarity. "
".... related in spirit, but far more minimalist is SOME KIND OF BLUES by CHRISTIAN ELIS (bcl/ss) and Maruan Sakas (p). Delicate piano meets woodwind with the joys of discovery. Dream away and listen. Beauty and wisdom."
“Dialogue is an effective way of exchanging thoughts. It can be most meaningful if the partners are on the same level. Just as Maruan Sakas when he plays percussive patterns on the manipulated piano in „En Route“which is in contrast to the meander in uneven metre of Christian Elins bass clarinet. From there it is only “Un pas jusq’au seuil” where one enters an oriental maqam in swaying rhythm..
"1-2-5“appears as an impressionist pastel in the minimal structures of the piano to the epic soprano saxophone. Straight afterwards there is a change of direction in “Juste pour le plaisir” because the sound progression is more mechanical and strict. But then one is relieved to find that “Some kind of Blues” leads softly from a piano arpeggio to a vamp theme, which Elin modifies to a boogie through multiphonics on the bass clarinet.
The conversations held by this duo are universal and their arguments open up musical spheres which fathom all stages between emotional intensity and compositional rationality in eloquent improvisation. This is not only jazz but also classic and pop, but it is always sophisticated. In their competence in style Elin and Sakas are on the same level“
“Dass der Augsburger Sopransaxofonist und Bassklarinettist Christian Elin eine akademische Ausbildung genoss, dass er der Neuen Musik und dem Jazz gleichermaßen nahesteht, dies bleibt unverkennbar in Schönklang-Tonbildung und intelligenter Kompositionsstruktur auf seiner neuen CD “Some kind of Blues”, die er zusammen mit dem begnadeten Piano-Rhythmiker Maruan Sakas aufnahm.
Hier tönt präzis gesetzter Composer-Jazz, durchdacht aber nicht gekünstelt elaboriert, melodiebetont, aber nicht einfältig emotional. Christian Elin bewegt sich schlafwandlerisch sicher durch die gut fünf Oktaven zwischen dem tiefsten Instrument der Klarinettenfamilie bis zum höchsten Instrument der Saxofonfamilie – und wenn hier schlafwandlerisch steht, so ist damit auch die häufig träumerische, kontemplative Gestimmtheit angesprochen, die seiner Cantus-firmus-Entwicklung innewohnt. Das Piano ist ihm Stütze und Dialog-(Wider-)Partner.“