Marion Lenfant-Preus – vocals
Alexander Sobocinski – guitar
Stefan Berger – bass
Frank Brempel – violin
Jonas Vogelsang – guitar
Her voice is sometimes tender and enchanting, sometimes gripping or tongue-twisting; the sound is raucous, almost whispering, then happily lilting or expressive and yearning. The Franco-American Marion sings of dancing dragons, of jumping into cold water and bathtubs full of beer, but also of tears and dreams, of love, lust and sorrow, of joy and fantasy. Colorful stories, told in six different languages – from elegant French to fairy-tale Romanes.
Just as colorful and diverse is the musical language of the band, which is mainly characterized by Gypsy Swing “à la Django”: acrobatic guitar solos and impressive violin playing next to powerful double bass and the percussive off-beat of the accompanying guitar. But in between, other sounds become audible again and again. There are improvised passages, quiet soundscapes and impressionistic moments: for example the violin in dialogue with the singing voice, warm bass tones, bowed with the bow, airy and intimate guitar playing and also echoes of the chanson tradition or Balkan rhythms. Each song follows its own narrative and musical dramaturgy.
With “Histoires” the French-German-Polish quintet Marion & Sobo Band presents a captivating, at the same time playful album full of fantasy, humor and colorful music.
“Histoires” – which means “stories” in French. The Marion & Sobo Band has quite a few to tell. “Jean” is about being impressed, being impressed by a figure that lifts off the diving board and unites with the blue of the sky as if in a watercolor. “Valse Folle” exudes nostalgic and playful memories of school days, while “Dream7” dreams of a world where people of all backgrounds are equal and their desire for peace and freedom comes true (“Wherever you go, wherever you come from, your’re worthy of peace, worthy of freedom”). In addition to their original compositions, the band has arranged two well-known pieces, “Ménilmontant” and “Ederlezi” as a tribute to their musical roots in Western and Eastern Europe between the French swing of the 1930s and the traditional melodies of the Balkans.
Born from the enthusiasm for traveling and languages, Marion & Sobo Band creates its own modern style of vocal gypsy jazz, global music and chanson. It is not a matter of merely stringing together cultural set pieces, but of felt living reality: the musicians see themselves as citizens of Europe and the world.
The heart of the Bonn band is the Franco-American singer Marion Lenfant-Preus and the Polish guitarist Alexander Sobocinski, called Sobo. He is from Poland and she spent her childhood and youth in France. The two well-traveled musicians met at a jazz session in Bonn. Since then they follow together the idea to create music beyond pigeonholes for a cross-cultural and cross-generational audience.
The Marion & Sobo Band was included in the funding catalog “Music Cultures 2019-2021” by the Kultursekretariat NRW.