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Friday, May 29, 2009

ECM 2009 - the year of jazz/arabic fusion?

They already, first among all or so, to mix arabic culture and tradition with jazz, a no-brand music like the Anouar Brahem, a musican I deeply love and who I often quote, but what Manfred Eicher and his ECM did this year sounds still more groundshaking: jazz and arabic language, texts from Coran and Jelauddin Rumi. AMAZINGLY new and ancient at same time, yet a superb mix.

"Fasil" ECM 2076 (2009) first... yes, I already quoted this very disk... but maybe worth repeating and requoting it... "Fasil, based on an idea by guitarist Marc Sinan and author Marc Schiffer, tells of the life of Aisha, the great love and youngest wife of the prophet Mohammed, in the course of an inspired song cycle. The improvisations take as their inspirational starting point fragments of Koran recitations recorded by Marc Sinan in Turkey. Together with Julia Hülsmann’s songs they form an Ottoman suite, a Fasil. Highlights in this transcultural project include exceptional performances by Sinan himself, and by Yelena Kuljić in the role of Aisha. The singer was recently described by the Frankfurter Rundschau as “the most thrilling new voice in the current jazz scene.”


"As Ney" ECM 2084... "The melody and texture of the Persian language exerts a subtle hold on the composing and improvising of the Berlin-based Cyminology quartet, heard here on its ECM debut Bandleader Cymin Samawatie, charismatic German-Iranian vocalist, sings her own Farsi lyrics as well as poetry of Sufi masters Rumi and Hafez, and 20th century verse of Forough Farrokhzäd. “As Ney”, an album titled after Rumi’s “Song of the Reed-Flute”, is quietly compelling, proposing a chamber jazz from new and fresh perspectives. An unusual and highly attractive ‘intercultural’ recording whose sensitive musicianship draws the listener in."

Strangely. but not so much, they are both female vocals-based GREAT disks... a new boundary is over, thanking ECM... give'em a try!

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