Liran Donin’s 1000 Boats

Jazzwise Top 10 Releases of 2018




Israeli born bass player, producer and composer Liran Donin has been involved with high profile and cutting edge artists, bands and projects both nationally and internationally, a highly sought after bass player across a varied musical spectrum.  With his distinctive power house groove and his virtuosic approach to electric and double bass, Liran has been pushing the limits of the bass to unknown territories. He has been recording and touring alongside artists such as Mercury Prize Award nominees Led Bib and Polar Bear, BBC folk award winners The Unthanks, Ethiopian vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke, rock and pop artists such as Chrissie Hynde and US indie band Here We Go Magic to name but few. He has also worked with the late great Tabla maestro Pandit Shardah Sahai and the vocalist Aruna Sairam amongst many others whilst his distinctive bass could also be heard on film, radio and TV.

As a music producer Liran has worked with an array of artists including his recent work with Namvula 1st and 2nd releases to global rave reviews and is currently producing the following releases for 2019: Led Bib 7th Studio album, Ranjana Ghataks 2nd studio album, RESOLUTE by Raph Clarkson and a duet album by Paula Rae Gibson by Rob Luft.

As a composer Liran has been working on a range of commissions including radio and documentary and is currently commissioned by choreographer Sivan Rubinstein on her new cutting edge performances MAPS which will be toured across the UK and Europe during 2019. Featuring some of UK’s most exciting musicians, Liran brings in “8 Songs” the double bass to the forefront and directs the music with his distinctive powerhouse grooving and virtousic bass playing, plenty of melodic and contemporary indie folk music to be found, with strong influences of Donins’ israeli and Moroccan sub Saharan background.

Track Listing:

1. I Can See Tarifa 05:59 

2. The Story of Annette and Morris 08:14

3. Alma Sophia 06:41

4. Tel Aviv to Ramallah 06:12

5. Paws 03:34

6. Noam, Sea and Sand 08:40

7. Gal and Osh 08:13

8. New Beginnings 04:39

9. Free 05:41


Liran Donin: double bass and vocals 
Chris Williams: alto saxophone 
Josh Arcoleo: tenor saxophone 
Maria Chiara Argirò: piano 
Ben Brown: drums 

also featuring: 
Ranjana Ghatak and Chris Williams: vocals (9) 
Maria Chiara Argirò: prepared piano (8, 9)

Recorded at State Of The Ark Studios, London UK 

Produced by Liran Donin 
Co-Produced by Eldad Guette and Chris Williams 
Recording engineer Martin Hannah

Assisted by Matt Cooke 
Mixed by Moshik Kop at NXNE London UK Mastered by John Webber at Air Mastering London UK


Led Bib’s lyricism can be lost in their reputation for attack. Their bassist Liran Donin, though, is all melody and emotion on this debut for his own music. Steeped in his complex Israeli background, it’s a cultural and musical statement of fierce beauty. Words were written then removed for what are very much songs, addressing the personal and political in a world in which the band’s strong name, 1000 Boats, brings to mind drowned refugees. There’s no despair, though, as the sustained poignancy of Donin’s duet with pianist Maria Chiara Argirò on ‘The Story of Annette and Morris’ gains a surge of new life from the quintet. The pair’s bright intuition is reinforced by drummer Ben Brown in a supple rhythm section which goes far beyond that role. The saxes lay in wait as reinforcements, as when they add a whirlwind, driving swirl to ‘Noam, Sand and Sea’. ‘Tel Aviv to Ramallah’ introduces more shadowy hustle and flow to a journey down that troubled road, Donin’s bass sticking and sinking as cymbals softly hiss, and the saxes sustain hope on what the fadeout suggests is an ongoing journey. There’s a fragment of Afro-Cuban drums during the loving intensity of ‘Alma Sophia’, and a bent Donin note at the start of the most joyously Jewish tune, ‘Gal and Osh’, marked by his melodic statement, the alto’s scream, and burning energy. The brittle, anxious bass of ‘New Beginnings’ becomes a Radiohead-recalling epic, and a bonus ninth song, the feminist-minded ‘Free’, finishes in harmonious, chanted prayer. The virtues of melody and direct emotion are their own rewards on a purging, uplifting record.

Nick Hasted (Jazzwise)