“An exceptional improviser in the melody in a tenor tone as powerful as it is audacious,” according to JazzTimes, "A sorcerer who demonstrates impressive talents, both as a performer and as a composer”: the American press does not exaggerate when it praises Eli Degibri and his attachment to his favorite instrument, the saxophone.
Saxophonist, composer, frontman, this native of Jaffa, Israel likes to accumulate projects and refuses to abandon one for the benefit of another. Not illogical when your no-fault course has seen you integrate Herbie Hancock’s sextet for almost four years (1999-2002) before joining drummer Al Foster full-time until 2011, when you weren’t occupying your free time to lead the way within the bands and orchestras accompanying in turn Aaron Goldberg, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Street, Jeff Ballard, Kevin Hays, Gary Versace, and Obed Calvaire, or to record eight albums of your own, all critically acclaimed, including the very latest, Soul Station, a tribute to Hank Mobley, another saxophonist which Degibri recognizes without hesitation as the source of much of his inspiration. It’s all good, you can catch your breath now.
We could also mention the honor he felt when asked to participate in the First International Jazz Day organized under the auspices of UNESCO in 2012 at a General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. We can also stress the fact that he is now considered as one of the leading figures of the Israeli jazz scene alongside Avishai Cohen and Omer Avital. Yes, we could... But we would be missing the point: that he has the potential to be a driving force in the evolution of jazz, as his former boss Herbie Hancock himself could testify.