Yanna Fabian: Los Angeles, CA February 3, 2012
Los Angeles, CA
February 3, 2012
A decidedly European vibe permeated the MiMoDa Studio in LA's creative La Brea district on February 3, 2012. Spanish, Russian, French and even English tongues could be heard mingling prior to the presentation of the Thea Project, Yanna Fabian's multimedia creation. Fabian, who relocated to Hollywood from her native Czech Republic in the summer of 2011, is an accomplished, award-winning vocalist, songwriter, dancer and actress who has released five successful solo albums and has performed on stages all over Europe. On this evening, she collaborated with members of the MiMoDa Jazzo Gruppa, including director Yasha Michaelson, who explained the philosophy of the ensemble as "aesthetic biomechanics or listening with ones' bodies."
Fabian was supported musically by a trio composed of trumpeter Sean Hennessy, bassist William Lovell and percussionist Brian Carmody. The electronica music was composed by the trio of European producers: Kubatko, DJ Neo and Yogi Rulez.
On "Paper Plane," Fabian sang wistfully of an unsatisfying love affair, while Hennessy blew restrained, weightless and blue trumpet tones. Fabian enhanced the lyrics' dreamy, airborne escape fantasy with relaxed, gravity defying dance motions. For "Instinct," Fabian was flanked by two dancers: on her left, Yecaterina Po slinked cat-like in a provocative, tight black dress, fishnets and long black gloves; while on her right, Sonia Keshishian gyrated athletically in a black gym outfit. Fabian's sultry voice and expressive physicality conveyed great depth of feeling.
Photographic projections added a visual element to Fabian's haunting, vocal performance on the other-worldly "Anybody Out There." Lovell's ethereal yet funky bass lines and a bit of spacey electronica added several layers of sensory stimulation to this original composition which, in its way, recalled the cosmic circus of the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra.
The evening's highlight, Fabian's original arrangement of saxophonist/composer extraordinaire Wayne Shorter's "Footprints," gave Fabian an opportunity to display her jazz chops. Lovell's dramatic, thumping bass line and Brian Carmody's edgy drumming got the audience's collective feet tapping, while Fabian's moody vocals added a sense of imminent danger to her mysterious lyrics.
Fabian brings a welcome new voice and a creative, risk-taking approach to the Los Angeles music scene. Her youthful energy and many years of experience on world stages infuse her performance with a relaxed confidence while her vocal and dance improvisations convey a great depth of sensitivity and freedom.