Armen Chakmakian - Ceremonie

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 31, 2012 0 comments

CEREMONIES is a difficult album to pin down. Keyboardist Chakmanian incorporates a fair amount of his native Armenian influences into his compositions, but this is light years away from folk or ethnic music. Light, woodwind-like synth work, jazzy piano, lyrical oud and acoustic guitar and syncopated rhythms combine for a sound that melds jazz, pastoral folk, New Age and World music. Acoustic guitar virtuoso Alex De Grassi and world-renowned oud wizard John Bilezikjian are among the many fine players that contribute to this unique sonic tapestry. The textures and harmonies are sophisticated, but generally airy and uplifting. CEREMONIES is recommended to fans of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays that also have a taste for the exotic.

(01). Gypsy Rain
(02). Kiss And A Sigh
(03). Ceremonies
(04). Time to Heal
(05). Imaginings
(06). Enchantress
(07). Distant Lands
(08). Rain, Rain Go Away
(09). Echoes of a Prayer
(10). Moonlight In Your Eyes

Flac (EAC Rip): 330 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 130 MB | Front Cover

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Las tres culturas de la música medieval española

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 31, 2012 0 comments
Musica Medieval [01]. Calamus - Medieval Women's Songs

La música de PNEUMA
Las tres culturas de la música medieval española - Three Cultures in the Medieval Spanish Music
Various artists


    Alfonso el Sabio (attr.): Cantigas de Santa Maria
  1. Cantiga 142: La Garza del rio Henares (Ena gran coita sempr' acorrer ven) (instrumental)
  2. Cantiga 282: Par Deus, muit' à gran vertude na paravla comual (Segovia)
  3. Cantiga 69: Santa Maria os enfermos sãa
  4. Cantiga 315: Espiga de Trigo de Atocha (Tant' aos peccadores a Virgen val de grado)
  5. Cantiga 382: La heredad (Verdad' este a paravoa que disse Rey Salamon)
  6. Anon.
  7. La Fuente. Arte efimero-Arte eterno (Melodia sobre original andalusí. Modo: Hidyaz. oriental. Ritmo: Qaim wa nisf)
  8. Tunisian song, Maluf 18, al-Rizqi
  9. Uaddaáuni - ¡Consoladme niñas al alba!
  10. Anon., Núba Al-Istihlal
  11. Twisya 1 y 2
  12. Anon., Inscripciones árabes del Alcázar de Sevilla, siglos XI-XIV
  13. La Gloria
  14. Ibn Zamrak, Tázon de la Fuente de los Leones
  15. ¿No aquí hay prodigios mil?
  16. Ibn al-Jatib (melody from: "Escandiadme, Bawakir al Maya")
  17. Ese es mi rito
  18. Anon., Núba Al-Hiyaz Al-Mashirqi
  19. Twishya 6 Al-Hiyaz Al-Mashirqi
  20. al-Harráq
  21. Muwwal, Buh bi-I-Garámi "Revela tu pasíon"
  22. Anon.
  23. Muwashshah, Badaytu bi-Dhikri l-Habíb (He comenzado por invocar al Amado)
  24. Anon., Mizaán Qa'im wa nisf aj Isthlal
  25. Qualbí wa sadrí
  26. Al-Shushtari
  27. Yá 'aybí fi man
  28. Ibrahim Al-Aryan
  29. Samai bayati
  30. Raimbaut de Vaqueiras:
  31. Oi! Altas undas que venetz sus la mar ...
  32. Anon.: Maluf
  33. Sana (Para la fiesta de la circuncisión)
  34. Dunash ibn Labrat (t) / Trad., Judeo-Yemeni
  35. Dror Yiqra
  36. Abraham Ibn Ezra
  37. Canción de Shabat: Ki eshmerá shabat
  38. Martin y Soler
  39. Canzonette Italiane: XII. La Volubile
  40. Abbot Peter (text) / J. Díaz's melodies
  41. Rodrigo venga a su padre
  42. Pascal Lefeuvre & Luis Delgado
  43. Gyromax
  44. Luis Paniagua
  45. Por el interés
  46. Trad., sephardic adaptation
  47. Ija mia, mi Kerida
  48. Gregorian
  49. Lumen. Antifona 8° tono
Playing time: 77' 28"

Ape tracks (EAC Rip): 420 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 180 MB | Covers

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Ono Gagaku Kai - Gagaku

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 30, 2012 0 comments
Japan: Gagaku, a collection of high-quality gagaku works courtesy of the Ono Gagaku Kai Society, one of the better private organizations dedicated to the preservation of an old art (the society dates back to the end of the 19th century, but the art is one of the older surviving musics known to man). Two of the three major divisions of gagaku are represented here, as kangen and bugaku forms are displayed to their fullest (instrumental and dance forms, as vocal/uta-mono is excluded from the album). The album opens with the standard piece of gagaku, "Etenraku." This gives the group some room to stretch out on the tuning-up period a bit and then move into the full instrumental glory of the work. A dance piece stemming from the Rg Veda follows, with a vaguely related longer one from western Asia following it. "Gakkaen" stands as one of the oldest pieces of music, recorded to be in use as early as 702 A.D., and is an interesting instrumental take on an old dance movement. "Bairo" is another work stemming from the Vedic culture, surrounding a prince Vairo-dhaka. The album closes with a dance work of Korean provenance, making even heavier use of the sho than the majority of the tracks (which is saying something in a gagaku ensemble). For newcomers to the rather otherworldly sound of gagaku, the recording of the Kyoto Imperial Court Orchestra on Lyrichord might prove a better introduction, given their virtuosity and encompassing of the full range. Japan: Gagaku is a fine album nonetheless, with able musicians providing a wealth of musical goodness in an ancient tradition. ~ Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

1. Etenlaku
2. Bato
3. Genjolaku
4. Gakkaen
5. Bailo
6. Nasoli

FLAC(EAC Rip): 310 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 140 MB | Booklet Scans

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Azerbaijan: The Art of the Mugham / L'Art du Mugham

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 30, 2012 0 comments

The mugham (traditional Azeri music) collection CD by the world-known Azeri mugham singer Alim Gasimov (Alternative spelling: Alim Qasimov)

1. Daramad/Bardasht/Maye
2. Rang/Bayati Esfahan/Rang/Zil Bayati Shiraz/Khavaran
3. Rang/Uzzal/Zarbi Uzzal
4. Daramad/Bardasht/Maye
5. Rang/Zabol/Muye/Rang/Segah
6. Rang/Zil Zabol/Rang
7. Hasar/Manandi Mukhalif

Alim Gasimov: vocal and daf tambourine Malik Mansurov: tar lute Elshan Mansurov: kamancha

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Chemirani Trio - Trio de Zarb

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 30, 2012 0 comments

In true Persian musical tradition, this trio lifts the idea of improvisation to new heights and opens doors that at times seems taboo. None the less, it is their technical mastery that overcomes less than well grounded forays in mixing so many divergent ideas of rhythms and "voices". In fact there are too many "voices", for a lack of a better word, which compete for carrying each piece.
At the end, it is nice to hear these "jazz" inspired efforts, but one is left a bit wanting for the delight of unexplainable contradiction of free but bounded impovisations demaded by Persian musical tradition.
This is definitely an excellent light background music for new comers who can't really handle the sublties of true tombak music.

1. Saint Maime l
2. Molla Nasr’din
3. Saint Maime 2
4. Mardjane
5. Maryam

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Cesaria Evora - Mar Azul

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 30, 2012 0 comments
Entertainment Weekly
Evora's gift for conveying vulnerability across language and culture is astonishing.

In 1991, just a year before she hit it big in Europe with Miss Perfumado, Cesaria Evora hit her stride in Paris with this warm and wonderful recording of morna music from Cape Verde. Produced with a light touch by José de Silva, Mar Azul is still close to the nightclub, to the smoke and whiskey roots of her music as she sang it back home; the great band seamlessly mixes jazz, blues, swing, Latin, and African music into something unique for its time. It is lush yet simple, beautiful and gritty and clean, and totally about this voice. An acoustic guitar or piano rules each track, with bass, light percussion, and touches of violin, clarinet, harmonica, or horn just brushing up against it. This is really where Evora developed comparisons to Billy Holiday, in her ability to sound both fragile and tough. Like classic jazz-blues, this music is about pain and elegance, expressed through a voice that convinces you she has seen both and often can't tell the difference. --Louis Gibson

One happy consequence following the current popularity of the Cabo Verdean singer Cesaria Evora is the domestic release of her first Paris-based sessions. Last year saw MISS PERFUMADO and now we have MAR AZUL, originally recorded in 1991. Evora sings in Portuguese and while there are some surface similarites with her Brazilian cousins across the sea, most notably the soulful Maria Bethania, her style remains firmly ensconced within the fado-derived song forms of her native Cabo Verde.

However, much like the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla's Nuevo Tango, MAR AZUL updates the sound of this sultry, endlessly flowing music with keen production values and a charming use of harmonica, clarinet and trumpet as counterpoint to Evora's dignified, always-truthful singing. All of Evora's currently available albums are worth owning. But for any curious listener unfamiliar with this great world singer, MAR AZUL is a great place to start.

1. Mar Azul
2. Cize
3. Estanhadinha
4. Cabo Verde
5. Belga
6. Cretcheu Di Ceu
7. Cinturão Tem Mele (Dança Tchà Tchà Tchà)
8. Separação

FLAC(EAC Rip): 220 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 80 MB | Scans

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Nguyên Lê - Walking on the Tiger's Tail

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 30, 2012 0 comments

"The intent of the artist is the same as that of the sorceror: It is the act of making something out of nothing"

This ecstatic, amazing and inspired music, this lightening bolt of AHA! against the midnight sky of smooth jazz post 90's mono directional mediocrity, this authentic record embodies that most rare and wonderful of things: a mature work by an artist with a truly original voice.

This CD plays with all the elements, dark and light, heaven and earth,water and fire, performing a balancing act of opposites. Hallowed but familiar ground, it's all there: Nguyen Le fans will recognize the organic forms, compositional savvy, intellectual prowess (plus balls to the wall guitar licks) in league with a manic genius intuition. A rare combination indeed!! This CD is a valuable addition to the collection of any enthusiast or novitiate. My non-jazz loving girlfriend even liked it!! (Parts, anyway...)

ArT LaNde and Paul McCandless reprise their wonderful association with Mr Le, first documented on his second solo album, "Zanzibar". While Zanzibar (sadly out of print) is a Le classic, full of thorny compositions and marvelously interactive playing, "Walking" is a completely 21st century statement, a reinvention of their earlier work and then some, highlighting the individual maturation of three radically under-appreciated modern musicians. "Walking" is infused with pan-asian, african, european, middleastern and mediterranean elements, influences that span the history of jazz and go far back to its common roots in world music. These are just some of the exotic ingredients of this heady musical stew, which steams across the continents, fleet footed and free. There are no boundaries for these veteran travelers: the whole planet is their musical turf.

There is no bass player on this project. At first I was afraid that it would lack punch in the bottom, but all four players pick up the role at different times, giving this session a decidely open feel it would not have had with a more conventional treatment of the bass.

No egos, no bloated parades, no guitar hero grandstanding here- just beautiful compositions by one of the most unique voices in modern improvised music, accompanied by two sympatico fellow innovators, longtime compatriots from a continent away. Special mention must be made of a newcomer to this listener,versatile and supple percussionist/drummer Jamey Haddad. The result is at times stark, seductive,warm, entrancing, unsettling, sublime, inside/outside, yet strangely familiar and always, always engaging. Hunt down this CD, and in the end this quarry will become your old friend, your family, your refuge.

(01). Wingless Flight
(02). Yielding Water
(03). Totsu !
(04). Snow On A Flower
(05). Jorai
(06). Butterfly Dream
(07). Walking On A Tiger's Tail
(08). Bee
(09). Evening Glory
(10). Zamora
(11). Eventail

Flac (EAC Rip): 380 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 160 MB | Covers

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Gypsy Passion: New Flamenco

Posted By MiOd On Sunday, January 29, 2012 0 comments

With apologies to Mr. L.K. Coleman and his utterly misleading Spotlight Review, this album does not pretend to be anything but what it is. Flamenco is a traditional form of music born in Andalusian Spain and created from Indian, Arabic, Jewish, Romano-Iberian and Celto-Iberian elements. GYPSY PASSION and its successors in the Narada catalogue are examples of Nuevo Flamenco or "New Flamenco" which is a style of Fusion incorporating traditional Flamenco, Jazz, Rock, Classical, and other musics. Either Mr. Coleman doesn't know about New Flamenco as a school of performance, or he's a purist who just dislikes it.

In either case, this album deserves five stars as a lively, engaging and pleasurable listening experience. And yes, "New Flamenco" has revitalized the traditional Andalusian form in modern-day Spain. GYPSY PASSION is absolutely worth your time

(01). Lucia - Oscar Lopez
(02). Gipsy - Jesse Cook
(03). Gypsy Flame - Armik
(04). Dulce Libertad - Lara & Reyes
(05). 2 The Night - Ottmar Liebert
(06). Bola - Strunz & Farah
(07). Danza Mora - Eric Tingstad
(08). Rumba Rumba Gitanita - Ruben Romero & Lydia Torea
(09). Torero - Govi
(10). Istanbul - Bruce Bec Var
(11). Torrecillo del Leal - Miguel de la Bastide
(12). Rockin' Gypsies - Willie and Lobo

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Mikis Theodorakis - Music From Movies

Posted By MiOd On Sunday, January 29, 2012 0 comments

The greater living greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, has written the score music for 5 movies: 'Zorba The Greek', 'Z', 'Serpico', 'Phaedra' and 'State Of Siege'. This nice compilation includes tunes and songs from the original soundtracks of these movies. Mainly instrumental music but also a few songs with Maria Farantouri, Melina Merkouri and the composer himself. Really great music.

(01). Zorba The Greek (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(02). Ballos (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(03). When The Sky Will Clear Up? (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(04). End Of Title-That's Me Zorba (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(05). Cafe Rock (from 'Z')
(06). The Smiling Boy (from 'Z')
(07). The Young Man Is In Pain (from 'Z') - Maria Farantouri vocal
(08). In This District (from 'Z') - Mikis Theodorakis vocal
(09). Laurie's Fable (from 'Serpico')
(10). One More Time (from 'Phaedra')
(11). The Fling (from 'Phaedra')
(12). Rodostamo (from 'Phaedra') - Melina Merkouri vocal
(13). Love Theme (from 'Phaedra') - Melina Merkouri vocal
(14). Paola 11099 (from 'State Of Siege')
(15). The American (from 'State Of Siege')
(16). State Of Siege (from 'State Of Siege')

(01). Theme from 'Zorba The Greek'
(02). Gianniotikos Sirtos Dance (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(03). Chassapikos Dance (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(04). Madam Ortans (from 'Zorba The Greek')
(05). La Course De Manuel (form 'Z')
(06). Main Title (from 'Z')
(07). The Siling Boy-Bouzouki Version (from 'Z')
(08). On The Streets (from 'Serpico')
(09). Theme (from 'Serpico')
(10). Love Theme (from 'Phaedra')
(11). Randez Vous (from 'Phaedra')
(12). My Love (from 'Phaedra')
(13). America Insurrecta (from 'State Of Siege')
(14). Tupammaros (from 'State Of Siege')
(15). Pueblo En Lucha (from 'State Of Siege')
(16). Hugo (from 'State Of Siege')

Flac (EAC Rip): 440 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 220 MB | Scans

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John Mclaughlin - Remember Shakti 1999

Posted By White Rose On Sunday, January 29, 2012 1 comments

Track List
CD 1
01 Chandrakauns
02 The Wish
03 Lotus Feet

CD 2
01 Mukti
02 Zakir

Full Cover
Download HERE
Download HERE

Bijan Chemirani - Eos

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, January 28, 2012 0 comments

The handsome cadet of one of Iran’s most famous musical families, Bijan Chemirani began his professional career while still in secondary school. The son of a famous zarb master, his subtle percussions have graced the works of several traditional musicians in his adopted homeland of France. With the release of his album “Eos”, Chemirani launched into an ambitious solo career. His first steps have confirmed the 23-year-old’s nigh scientific ability to coax out rhythms from his zarb. Despite critical praise for his first album, he has continued to collaborate with the likes of Ross Daly, Dupain and his old Greek friend Stelios Petrakis.

(01). Roudra Lalit
(02). Hayat Güzel: Hayat Güzel - intro
(03). Hayat Güzel: Hayat Güzel
(04). Nichapoûr
(05). Panjzarbi
(06). Yavôch Yavôch
(07). Jurjuna
(08). Ritournelles
(09). Noh zarbi
(10). Maria
(11). Sitia
(12). Fish Dance
(13). Yunan

Stelios Petrakis: Lyra, Laouto, Saz, Vocals Henri Tournier: Bansuri, Flute, Octobasse Loy Ehrlich: Hajouj, Awicha, Kora Pape N'Diaye, Maryam & Mardjane Chemirani: Vocals Levon Minassian: Duduk Pierre Ruiz: Guitar Djamchid Chemirani: Zarb, Keyvan Chemirani: Zarb, Voice Bijan Chemirani: Zarb, Saz, Daf, Riq, Udu, Bendir Recorded at Studio Mobile & Nerves, Salon-de-Pce, France

Flac (EAC Rip): 440 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 160 MB | Booklet Scans

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Putumayo Presents: Acoustic Brazil

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, January 28, 2012 0 comments

The gentle rhythms of samba, bossa nova and more by legendary artists and fresh new voices. From the gentle swing of bossa nova and samba canç?o, to the lyrical grace of contemporary singer-songwriters, Acoustic Brazil presents some of the most beautiful songs from Brazil's unique musical legacy.

Acoustic Brazil is Putumayo's fourth installment in its popular regional series which includes Brasileiro, Samba Bossa Nova and Brazilian Groove. Focusing again on bossa nova and samba canção, the compilers have put together a heady mix of old and new, with legendary performers like Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque crooning alongside more contemporary voices like Teresa Cristina, Lucas Santtana and Márcio Faraco. As usual, Putumayo has included extensive liner notes in English, Spanish and French, as well as numerous photos. Fans of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento or just bossa nova in general will find Acoustic Brazil not only warm and relaxing, but also teeming with life.

[01]. Aquele Frevo Axe - Gal Costa
[02]. A Voz Do Povo - Paulinho Da Viola
[03]. Samba Triste - Anna De Hollanda
[04]. Ciranda - Marcio Faraco
[05]. Meu Mundo E Hoje (Eu Sou Assim) - Teresa Cristina
[06]. Quando Eu For Eu Vou Sem Pena - Chico Buarque
[07]. Tem Quem Queira - Rita Ribeiro
[08]. Cajuina - Caetano Veloso
[09]. Moro Na Roca - Monica Salmaso
[10]. Mensagem De Amor - Lucas Santtana
[11]. Labios De Cetim - Glaucia Nasser
[12]. Noite Severina - Lula Queiroga

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Musique Et Chants Traditionnels De Mauritanie (Traditional Songs of Mauritanie)

Posted By White Rose On Friday, January 27, 2012 0 comments

Track List
01.Prélude Instrumental
03.Beyt Biedh
04.'Aynî Yâna
05.Beyt Harb
06.Beyt Harb
07.Dezzeyt'm Berr
08.Sans titre
09.Sans titre
10.Râ'i Imeyl !
11.Umsiku Dam'a 'Ayni
12.Lalla Mmwi
14.Ana Wana

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Alim Qasimov - Classical Mugham

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 0 comments
According to the New York Times, Alim Qasimov is simply one of the greatest singers alive, with a searing spontaneity that conjures passion and devotion, contemplation and incantation.

Alim Qasimov was born in 1957 and is one of the foremost mugam singers in Azerbaijan as well as being an musician (on the daf - the single-headed frame drum of the Middle East and Central Asia) .

Mugham has a thousand years of musical tradition and is a highly complex art form that weds classical poetry and musical improvisation in specific local modes accompanying an orally transmitted collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers can draw on when improvising.

"The choice of a particular mugham and a style of performance fits a specific event. The dramatic unfolding in performance is typically associated with increasing intensity and rising pitches, and a form of poetic-musical communication between performers and initiated listeners". (Wikipedia)

"Alim Qasimov is a prominent mugham singer named a "Living National Treasure" of Azerbaijan. He has been passionate about mugham since his early childhood, but initially Qasimov sang mugham solely for his own enjoyment. Only at the age of nineteen, after having held various jobs as an agricultural worker and driver, did he decide to pursue a career in music. Qasimov studied at the Asaf Zeynalli Music College (1978-1982) and the Azerbaijan University of Arts (1982-1989). His teacher was well-known mugham singer Aghakhan Abdullayev.

Qasimov's first remarkable international success occurred in 1988 when he won first prize at the International Festival and Symposium on Traditional Music in Samargand, Uzbekistan. Since then, he has been traveling worldwide to spread the art of Azerbaijani mugham.

Alim appears on 12 CDs released in Europe and the United States, on one of them, Love's Deep Ocean (1999, Network Medien, Frankfurt, Germany) together with his daughter and student Fargana Qasimova. In addition to performing with the Silk Road Ensemble, Qasimov performs with the Kronos Quartet as part of his collaboration with the Aga Khan Initiative in Central Asia.

Qasimov has performed on Azerbaijan’s most prestigious stages, such as the Heydar Aliyev Palace and the Azerbaijan Philharmonic Hall. Since 1989, he has been a soloist at the Azerbaijan Opera and Ballet Theater. Qasimov teaches mugham classes at the Asaf Zeynalli Music College and the Azerbaijan National Conservatory.

Qasimov perceives and presents mugham not only as an ancient art and a part of Azerbaijan's musical and cultural heritage but also as a constantly developing tradition. His performing style is unique, as it combines deep knowledge of centuries-old rules of mugham with challenging innovations. It is distinguished by extreme intensity, which takes audiences to a spiritual world. Qasimov's approach to mugham is far from conservative, and he willingly juxtaposes mugham with other music styles, such as jazz and contemporary composition.

In 1999, in recognition for his musical contributions to world peace, Qasimov was awarded the coveted International IMC-UNESCO Music Prize. Past winners of this prize include Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar, Olivier Messiaen and Daniel Barenboim. Qasimov's numerous awards also include the title of the People's Artist of Azerbaijan, the highest artistic rank in the country. In 2007, on the occasion of Qasimov’s 50th birthday, the President of Azerbaijan awarded him the Medal of Glory."

(above taken from

He was also included in a book on the 500 Most Influential Muslims of The World (2009).

"The heart-aching soul music of Eurasia"
"Alim Qasimov certainly has his fans. The late Jeff Buckley described his singing as "pure and effortless" while The Guardian's Robin Denselow claimed him to be "one of the most thrilling, unashamedly emotional performers on the planet". The Kronos Quartet's David Harrington put a figure on it, announcing that, vocally, Alim is in "the top five of all-time". His is certainly an astonishing voice, pricking the skin and riding undulating air currents as he dramatically interprets the ancient poetic works of his homelands.

One of the most cherished citizens of Azerbaijan, he sings both the homegrown classical music known as mugham and the ballads of the ashiqs, the local lute-playing troubadours. But whatever the song's origin, when that voice begins to ascend, you just know that Alim Qasimov means every single word of it. A genuine soulman.
The Alim Qasimov Ensemble are produced in association with Serious and the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture." (Taken from website - Biography written by Nige Tassell 2010)

1. Rast
2. Segah
3. Mahur
4. Chahargah
5. Nazli Yar

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Amina Alaoui - Arco Iris

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 1 comments

Amina Alaoui is a vocalist, pianist, and composer steeped in the history of Andalusian music, the fusion of Arab, Spanish, Persian, and Portuguese styles that evolved in the courts of Moorish Spain in the ninth century. Her intent, stated poetically in the album's liner notes, is to use the fusion of styles that flourished centuries ago as the foundation for a modern music without boundaries. Arco Iris translates as rainbow, a metaphor for the way the musics of the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Africa blend into and color each other. Alaoui, and the five musicians that accompany her, produce a powerful, contemplative sound that stirs deep feeing with its deliberate tempos and intricate instrumental work. Still, the main focus remains Alaoui's soulful, passionate vocals. They take up an immense emotional space, reminding listeners of the limited range of most pop music. The record opens with "Hado" (Fate), a chilling solo performance that shows Alaoui's vocal range and masterful control as she slides up and down the scale adding ornamentations to her vocal lines. "Búscate en Mí" (Seek Yourself Within Me) is a poem by Saint Teresa of Avila set to Alaoui's music. The solemn instrumental work of violinist Saïfalla Ben Abderrazak and oud player Sofiane Negra set the stage for Alaoui's understated vocal. "Fado Al-Mu'tamid" and "Fado Al-Mu'tamid" feature the mandolin of Eduardo Miranda, who adds a Brazilian lilt to his accompaniment that lets Alaoui dig deep into the melancholy of the songs. "Oh Andaluces" (Oh Andalusians) may be the most emotional song on the record, featuring Alaoui's stunningly emotional vocals accompanied only by José Luis Montón's smoldering flamenco guitar. With the exception of "Las Morillas de Jaén" (Moorish Girls of Jaén), a midtempo tune marked by Montón's dramatic flamenco guitar and Idriss Agnel's inventive percussion accents, and the driving Andalusian workout of "Ya Laylo Layl," the tunes here are taken at a measured tempo that serves to accent their emotional weight.

“This music transcribes an Iberian peninsula carried towards a dialogue with the potential of what might be. It is a poetic geography that entertains the dream of the impossible: human horizons that transcend borders, lyrical Mediterranean idioms that are open to the universe and the intelligence of being, of mutual communication. Song and music explore this possibility in order to open up another path: original expression.”
Amina Alaoui.

Following her outstanding ECM debut performance as the lyrical voice of Jon Balke’s “Siwan” recording of 2007/8, Amina Alaoui explores a rainbow of musical possibilities on her own “Arco Iris”. It is an emotionally powerful album that soars through related idioms. This time, says Alaoui in her liner notes, there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi” for the music itself investigates the common crucible of the styles:
Amina’s delivery, and the performances of her superb ensemble, make the interconnections of the genres self-evident.
Yet as she also points out, “you must first have assimilated your own roots, in order to absorb the culture of the other...” Historical awareness, study and discernment are essential but more is needed: “I am an artist of the present. I abstain from simply copying the styles of the past.”
The songs are from many sources, and the texts and some of the melodies span a thousand years. Amina sets mystic poems by St. Teresa of Avila and by 11th century king of Seville Al Mutamid Ibn Abbad, and nature poetry of Ibn Khafaja. There is 20th century fado from the pen of Antonio de Sousa Freitas and the well-known 15th century text “Las Morillas de Jaén” which Amina puts to her own music.

(01). Hado [Fate]
(02). Búscate en Mí [Seek Yourself Within Me]
(03). Fado Al-Mu'tamid
(04). Flor de Nieve [Sunflower]
(05). Oh Andaluces [Oh Andalusians]
(06). Ya Laylo Layl
(07). Fado Menor [Fadio in Minor]
(08). B?scate En M?, Var.
(09). Morad?a
(10). Las Morillas de Jaén [Moorish Girls of Jaén]
(11). Que Faré [What Shall I Do?]
(12). Arco Iris [Rainbow]

320 kbps including Front Cover


Jon Balke, Amina Alaoui - Siwan

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 0 comments

A wise man once said "cross-cultural pollination is the life blood of music". He could have had Jon Balke's "Siwan" featuring the remarkable Moroccan vocalist Amina Alaoui in mind.

The ensemble includes Norwegian Jon Balke who conceived the project and arranged the music, Amina Alaoui who sings poetic texts in Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese from the Al-Andalus period of Muslim Iberia (730 to 1492), John Hassell (trumpet, electronics)lives for this kind of cross-cultural synthesis, and 12 baroque soloists (Bjarte Eike's Barokksolistene) with strings and lute and harpsichord. The most soul stirring sounds come from the artists newest to me: Algerian violinist Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche and Amina Alaoui.

I'm fascinated by Amina. She is a virtuoso singer and musicologist. Born in Fez, she was originally schooled in the Moroccan Gharnati tradition. Gharnati derives from Al-Andalus, where it spread from Granada to North Africa. Amina continues to research connections between flamenco, fado and the music of Al-Andalus. On Siwan much of the music was originally composed to Spanish translations of the poetry. Alaoui then helped to reshape the material around original Arabic versions.

The inspiration for this project stemmed from Balke observing similiarities between two beautiful traditions represented by the voice of Amina Alaoui and early music, as explored by Bjarte Eiike's Barokksolistene. But it goes deeper.

Excerpting from the cd liner notes and ECM's website:

"The title Siwan means in balance, or equilibrium, in a mixed language called Aljamiado, spoken under the Inquisition in Spain.

This is a fascinating blend of Arabic and European music and poetry, which is very poorly documented in European music history. This project is not a musicological research, but rather a tribute to musical freedom. Andalus was a beacon of learning in the so-called Dark Ages, and unique in the degree of exchange between Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars. Balke points out there are striking correspondences in the writings of the Sufi poets and the Catholic and Sephardic mystics.

Siwan also raises questions about what was lost in the bonfires of the Inquisition, and points to the catastrophic costs of religious intolerance."

Siwan gathers nourishment from the cooperative spirit of Al-Andalus and creates an exquisite mosaic where the unlikely elements are integrated into an atmospheric whole. The results are not only sublime but a revelation.

(01). Tuchia
(02). Ya Andalucin
(03). Jadwa
(04). Ya Safwa Ti
(05). Ondas Do Mar De Vigo
(06). Itimad
(07). A La Dina
(08). Zahori
(09). Ayshyin Raquin
(10). Thulathyath
(11). Toda Sciencia Trancendiendo

320 kbps including full scans


Sound Documents of Uighur Muqam (Central Asia)

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 0 comments
Sound Documents of Chinese Xinjiang Uighur Muqam Music
(3 CDs + Chinese Book, published by Chinese Central Conservatory Of Music, 2007)

Music of the Uyghurs

The Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam is the general term for a variety of Muqam practices widespread among people in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonmous Region. Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam is a composite of songs, dances, folk and classical music, and is characterized by a diversity of content, dance styles, musical morphology and instruments.

The lyrics contain not only folk ballads but also poems written by classical Uyghur masters. Thus, the songs reflect a wide range of styles such as poetry, proverbs, folk narratives and popular topics such as the praise of love and contemplation of life, reflecting the history and contemporary life of Uyghur society.

The music of the Uyghur Muqam is characterized by variations and the continuity of musical patterns, indicating a close affinity with the musical culture of China's central plains. The dancing skills involve unique steps, rhythms and formations as well as figures such as flower-picking-by-mouth, bowl-carrying-on-head and imitation of animals in solo dances.

The Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam has developed four main regional styles, namely the Twelve Muqam, Turpan Muqam , Hami Muqam and Dolan Muqam,Twelve Muqam is known as the "mother of Uygur music." Legend has it in the mid-16th century, aided by other musicians, the imperial concubine Amannisahan of the Yarkant Kingdom, who was also an esteemed poetess and musician, devoted all her efforts to collecting and compiling Muqam music, which was then scattered across areas populated by Uygur. She finally worked out 12 grand, yet light and entertaining compositions that are now known as the Twelve Muqam.

The Twelve Muqam consist of sung poetry, stories, dance tunes and instrumental sections. Some of the lyrics of the Muqam are drawn from the great Central Asian Chagatay poets.

After the founding of new China (1949), the local government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region made every effort possible to preserve the Twelve Muqam. The whole set of the Twelve Muqam consists of 360 different melodies and takes over 24 hours to play in full.

2 Xinjiang Uyghur MuqamoTurpan Muqam

Declarer: Shanshan County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonmous Region

Each of the Turpan Muqam generally corresponds to one mode, and each is about thirty minutes in length. Although no information on its historical transmission is currently available, musically there is much to link the Turpan Muqam to the chong n?ghm? of the Twelve Muqam.

While the section names differ, there is correspondence in overall structure, rhythmic cycles and melodic material. The preferred instrument for the Turpan Muqam is the satar bowed lute, plus t?mbür, dutar, chang and dap frame drum accompanying voices.

3 Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam oHami Muqam

Declarer: Hami Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonmous Region

Hami Muqam is a kind of large-scaleUyghur musical performance, including 12 sets of music and 258 songs. During the development process Hami Muqam absorbed many musical elements from China's central plains, central Asia and west Asia in the aspects of lyrics, style and structure.

4 Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam o Daolang Muqam

Declarer: Maigaiti County Xinjiang Uygur Autonmous Region

Daolang people live around the Great Takelamagan Desert that is called the "Sea of Death" in Sinkiang. In ancient times, it was cut off from the outside world, and production lagged behind, so hunting played an important role.

The dancing content of the Daolang Muqam is the whole process of Daolang People's hunting lives: During the overture, dancers lift their arms high, as if they are lifting the torch to light up thewildernessto hunt wild animals. In the main part, dancers perform as if using the language of hunting wild animals and in the end, the dancing team forms a square and dancers whirl cheerfully to show great joy after a successful hunt.

The distinguishing feature of Daolang Muqam music is that all sorts of instruments are played with energy and people sing in different styles loudly and without restraint. They don't follow each other in melody. But overall, there is no difference in the main melody. They singers harmonize and the musicians create multi-faceted music that is full of artistic appeal.
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This 3CD anthology is a part of the Book: Instruments Pics, Sound Documents of Chinese xinjiang Uighur Muqam Music, published by Chinese Central Conservatory Of Music.
the Pics and the Musics were collected in four periods: 1950s, 1960s, 1980's, and 1990s up to now. there is no definitive date for each track in the book, and It seems that all tracks have no digital remastering so some sound quarlity are too bad, but obviously most of these recordings were very precious and never released openly even in China.

Track.1-14 are Instrumental Solo pieces, and last 4 tracks are ensemble pieces.

Track.1 is the greatest muqam master TURDI AHUN's historical recordings, the rest is a complete version of a classical Muqam: Muqam Nava.

3 Local muqam: dolan muqam, turupan muqam, Hami muqam.

About the Master TURDI AHUN

Turdi Ahun with his son

Toward the end of the 1940s, the economy of Xinjiang was in recession and people lived in dire poverty. The 12 Muqam was on the verge of extinction and its melody was hardly heard. Up to the 1950s, after the founding of New China, there was only one person who could sing the complete 12 Muqam. He was Turdi Ahun.
The old 12 Muqam musician Turdi Ahun was born in a musician’s family in Yengisar County. He mastered the 12 Muqam at the age of 20. He then performed the musical suite for more than 50 years in Kashgar, Hotan and other places. He could perform with tanbor, duttar, satar and rawap. His performance with satar was rated as unique in Xinjiang.

After the founding of new China (1949), the local government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region made every effort possible to preserve the "Twelve Muqam." In 1956, Muqam master Turdi Ahun and musician Wan Tongshu, working with other assistants, took great pains to record most of the vocal melodies and librettos of the "Twelve Muqam" on tape. They also recorded the music by hand. Their efforts paved the way for the renaissance of this cultural tradition. In 1960, two volumes of "Twelve Muqam" sung by Turdi Ahun were published. The oral cultural heritage was finally secured in the form of its first publication.

Flac (EAC Rip): 1100 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 610 MB | Book Scans

Archives have 5% of the information for restoration

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

OR MP3 320 kbps
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt - Lure of Desert

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 0 comments

" Music is the language of GOD created for the benefit of Mankind. To me music is the medium to talk to GOD."...."Every time we perform we think in our mind that we are worshipping Goddesses Saraswati, the symbol of knowledge and wisdom, and we pray that She be with us so that we can create good music."....Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

Wikipedia: Vishwa Mohan Bhatt also known as V. M. Bhatt (born July 12, 1952) is an Indian slide guitar player. Bhatt is the creator of the Mohan Veena. He performs Hindustani classical music and won a Grammy Award in 1994. It is for his Grammy winning album A Meeting By The River with Ry Cooder and other fusion and pan-cultural collaborations with Western artists like Taj Mahal, Béla Fleck and Jerry Douglas, that Bhatt is best known, although exposure such as an appearance on the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival, which was organized by Eric Clapton, does allow for this side of his playing to reach a larger audience. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998 and the Padma Shri in 2002. Folk musician Harry Manx, who studied with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt for five years, plays a Mohan Veena. Counting Crows' Bassist Matt Malley also plays a Mohan Veena and is a student and friend of Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Vishwa Mohan is married to Padma and lives in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, with his two sons and his wife. His elder son Salil Bhatt is a renowned Mohan veena player (and also a player of the Satvik veena), while his younger son Saurabh Bhatt is a well known composer. His nephew, Krishna Bhatt, plays the sitar and tabla.

Official Biography: Official Biography: Creator of the MOHAN VEENA and the winner of the GRAMMY AWARD, Vishwa Mohan has mesmerized the world with his pristine pure, delicate yet fiery music. It is due to Vishwa's maiden mega effort that he rechristened guitar as MOHAN VEENA, his genius creation and has established it at the top most level in the mainstream of Indian Classical Music scenario, thereby proving the essence of his name VISHWA (meaning the world) and MOHAN (meaning charmer) and indeed , a world charmer he is. Being the foremost disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar, Vishwa Mohan belongs to that elite body of musicians which traces its origin to the Moughal emperor Akbar's court musician TANSEN and his guru the Hindu Mystic Swami Haridas. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt has attracted international attention by his successful indianisation of the western Hawaiian guitar with his perfect assimilation of sitar, sarod & veena techniques, by giving it a evolutionary design & shape and by adding 14 more strings helping him to establish the instrument MOHAN VEENA to unbelievable heights. With blinding speed and faultless legato, Bhatt is undoubtedly one of the most expressive, versatile and greatest slide player s in the world. Being a powerhouse performer, Vishwa's electrifying performance always captivates the audience whether in the United States of America, Europe, Gulf countries or his motherland India. Vishwa Mohan has become the cultural ambassador of India by carrying the Herculean task of glorifying and popularizing Indian culture and music throughout the world. Outstanding features of Bhatt's baaj (style) are his natural ability to play the 'Tantrakari Ang' and incorporate the 'Gayaki Ang' on Mohan Veena which is the greatest advantage of this instrument over traditional Indian instrument like sitar, sarod and veena. It was no surprise that Vishwa Mohan with his sheer virtuosity and limitless supply of melodies won the highest music award of the world, the GRAMMY AWARD IN 1994 along with Ry Cooder for their World Music Album, 'A MEETING BY THE RIVER' enhancing his celebrity status not only as a star performer but also as an improviser and a soulful composer. Vishwa Mohan has performed extensively in the USA, USSR, Canada, the Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark, then scaling the Gulf of Dubai, Al-Sharjah, Bahrain, Muscat, Abu Dhabi etc. and throughout India.

1. Raag Des - Alaap, Vilambit, Drut - Rachana Teen Taal
2. Rajasthani Folk - Kesariya Balam - Dadra Taal
3. Raag Megh Malhar - Alaap, Rachna Vilambit - Dhamar Taal and Dhrut Teen Taal
4. Raag Sarang - Rachana - Kaharva Taal
5. Raag Kirvani - Rachana - Kaharva Taal

FLAC (EAC Rip): 400 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 170 MB | Scans

Archives have 5% of the information for restoration

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

OR MP3 320 kbps

Hakan - Music Of Kurdistan

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments

Hakan has brought us a glimpse of the richness of Kurdish culture that makes me want to see more. I listen to this disk and travel to a time and place where I feel communal warmth and celebration of life. The folk melodies of these people are filled with joy and sorrow, love and death. In short, everything that makes life worth living. The instrumentation is Hakan on sazi, baglama, percussion, tzubus and vocals, with Thanassis Vassilopoulos on clarinet and ney. This music has an ancient feel (very well recorded) and is one of my favorite oriental music recordings.

If you've ever traveled across North Africa, or along the old caravan routes from Istanbul to Delhi, this cd will remind you of the music that floated in the air as you moved from place to place. It's the music of the chaikhana and the market rather than the radio. The cd has the texture of a well made nomadic carpet - timeless themes, rich texture, nuance and memory. My favorite cut is #2 - it takes me back to days of waking somewhere wonderful with the sounds of thunder building as the muezzin calls us all to prayer.

(01). Oh! My Black Eyes
(02). In Sebastia
(03). River
(04). I Shall Die from Sorrow, If I Don't See You
(05). This to Will Pass by Too
(06). Improvisation (A)
(07). Azzeri
(08). God Has Given Worries
(09). Improvisation (B)
(10). The Mountains
(11). Improvisation (C)

192 kbps including Covers


Saeed Issa - El Oud Sultan Vol.[1-4]

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments
Four volumes of straight-forward compositions and improvisations for the oud with percussion accompaniment. A veritable catalog of maqams and traditional melodies. 15-20 cuts per disc. Excellent rhythmic playing.

Saeed Issa - El Oud Sultan 1

Track Listings
[01]. Ghanely Shewaya
[02]. Gamal El Donia
[03]. Ala Balad El Mahboub
[04]. Efrah Ya Albi
[05]. Madam Teheb
[06]. Been Shateen We Mayah
[07]. Samra Ya Samra
[08]. Fakrak We Mish Hansak
[09]. Awel Hamsa
[10]. Ya Retny Tier
[11]. Taala Salem
[12]. Ya Awazel Falfelo
[13]. Ahl El Mahaba
[14]. Yabo El Ouon El Soud
[15]. Taala Awaam
[16]. Abgad Hawaz
[17]. Aeiny Bitref

Saeed Issa - El Oud Sultan 2

Track Listings
[01]. Anssak
[02]. Al Atlal
[03]. Aroh Lemeen
[04]. Ahl El Hawa
[05]. Al Fawazeer
[06]. Ahbabna Ya Eain
[07]. Ya Wabour Ouly
[08]. Amar Loh Layaly
[09]. Ala Khado Ya Nass
[10]. Ya Ward Ala Foul We Yasmeen
[11]. Tel3et Ya Mahla Nourha
[12]. Zourony Kol Sana Marah
[13]. Sheed El Hezam
[14]. El Helwa Dee
[15]. Khafef El Rouh
[16]. Mala El Kassat
[17]. Leeh Ya Banafseg

Saeed Issa - El Oud Sultan 3

Track Listings
[01]. Samaah
[02]. Ghareb El Daar
[03]. Habaytak We Bahebak
[04]. Saken Fe Hay El Saida
[05]. Ya Salat El Zeen
[06]. Mara Tehaneny
[07]. Ely Yjdar Ala Aldy
[08]. Inaabe
[09]. Ya Helw Nadeny
[10]. Ya Halawet El Donia
[11]. Ya Maal El Sham
[12]. Khayef A'ol Ely Fe Alby
[13]. Sa3et Ma Bashoufak
[14]. Daret El Ayam

Saeed Issa - El Oud Sultan 4

Track Listings
[01]. Rak El Habib
[02]. Awedt Eany
[03]. Howa Saheh
[04]. Ya Zalemny
[05]. Hakablo Bokra
[06]. Esal Rohak
[07]. Ana Fee Entezarak
[08]. El Ward Gamel
[09]. Gadet Hobak Leeh
[10]. Ya Mesaharny

MP3 192 kbps including Covers

Part One
Part Two

Amina Alaoui - Gharnati, En Concert

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments

More than seven centuries of Arabian civilization - from 711 to 1492 - saw the establishment of a thriving Islamic culture in the Iberian peninsula
which, by integrating certain elements from the re-Islamic tradition, brought a cultural amalgam to this area. Aided by the tolerant climate of
the Umayad Caliphate, or Emirate of Cordoba, a variegated civilization emerged, leaving its marks in such diverse areas as music, rchitecture,
gastronomy and ceramics.
Amina Alaoui, interpreter of Arab-Andalusian usic and worldwide ambassador of this tradition, combines singing, composing and musicological research in order to deepen and further master her art. Her creativity and desire to renew are based on her own traditions.

Finally there is another CD of Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui the: cause for great joy. In 1998 she made ​​a deep impression with Alcantara on the French label Auvidis, now gives them Gharnati that album a sequel to the Dutch label Saphrane. Who wants to know how it was sung in Spain before the terrible purges of the reconquista, should be to listen to submit Alaoui. With the forced exodus of Jews and Moors landed the Arabo-Andalusian music in North Africa, where the oral is passed to this day. Raised in an intellectual environment in the university city of Fez heard Alaoui from early music to Gharnatistijl, music which was in full bloom at the 15th-century court of Granada. Unlike most of its North African colleagues Alaoui sings the ancient songs alone, only accompanied by oud and violin. This transparent occupation gives her the freedom to decorate richly beautiful melodies. Her masterful players add their own imaginative decorations to it. Rarely do you hear so relaxed, subtle and sublime interplay.

1. Li ayyi sabab uhjar
2. Mode zidane - Kam Ba'athnâ - Ana qad kâna lî khalil
3. Nada te turbe - Lammâ badâ yatathanna
4. Taksim
5. Ya 'adili billah
6. Malûf (instrumental)
7. Ya laylo layl

VBR kbps including Covers


Amina Alaoui - Gharnati, Arabo-Andalusian Music of Morocco

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments
This is music from El Andalus at its best. Gharnati, which can be translated as "music from Granada" is filled with sensual longing and old memories; through Amina's voice the old ghosts take place here in this world with dignity and grace. Amina herself is rather amazing - she has degrees in philosophy, philology and dance and her spiritual beauty and wisdom show themselves in her voice and in this sublime album. Highly recommended.

From Granada, the last capital of Moorish Spain, to Fes, Morocco, came a music in exile. Its classical performance tradition is of suites and particular modes and styles. In this album, however, the songs are adaptations and the suites are selected to provide a variety of modes and feelings. And such feelings! Amina Alaoui's beautiful voice entwines us and the orchestra of Ahmed Piro, noted for popular as well as classical formats, propels us to an exotic land. Sweetness and joy pervades. The interpretations of the melodies, some familiar to listeners of Moroccan âla, are rich in detail. The orchestra and vocalists, including leader Piro, are excellent, but the inclusion of a four-stringed banjo and mandolin does raise an eyebrow. Hardly bluegrass! Well-recorded, the album will certainly leave the listener in good spirits and perhaps with fantasies of visiting this musically interesting nation.

[01]. Li Ayyi Sabab
[02]. Li Habiboun
[03]. Ya 'Adili Billah
[04]. An Hwakoum
[05]. Ya Badi' Al Hosn
[06]. Ya Badi' Al Hosn
[07]. Ana Qad Kana Li Khalil
[08]. Wa Lamma Fana Sabri
[09]. Saaltak Ya Badi'
[10]. Bittou Achkou
[11]. Ya Lawnal 'Assal
[12]. Ya Lailatan
[13]. Lachjar Barza
[14]. Tahallala L-Kawnou
[15]. Ra 'Allahou
[16]. Ida Yahij

VBR kbps including Front Cover


Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release Vol.[1-9]

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments

Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "1"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "2"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "3"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "4"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "5"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "6"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "7"
Ali Akbar Khan - An All India Radio Archival Release "8"

Indian musician Ali Akbar Khan (born 1922) is venerated in his homeland as a National Living Treasure, while internationally he is regarded as the greatest living classical Indian musician. A master of the sarod, a 25-stringed Indian instrument, Khan helped introduce and popularize Indian music throughout the Western world.

Khan was born on April 14, 1922, in Shivpur, East Bengal, an area now known as Bangladesh but then part of British-controlled India. He began learning and playing music when he was three years old. He was taught by his father, the late Padma Vibhusan Acharya Dr. Allauddin Khan, who is regarded as the most important figure in North Indian music of his time. The elder Khan played over 200 instruments and lived to be 110 years old. Regarded as both a great musician and teacher, Allauddin Khan attracted a great many aspiring Indian musicians who wanted to learn from the master.

Khan's family followed the rich tradition of North Indian classical music that had developed over 4,000 years and was based on ancient principles of rag (melody) and taal (rhythm). The family dates its ancestry back to Mian Tansen, a 16th-century court musician to the Mogul Emperor Akbar.

Allauddin Khan, who also mastered Western and African instruments during his career, continued teaching his son right up until his death in 1972. He also taught his daughters, Sharija, Jehanara, and Annapurna, and instructed many other famous musicians, among them the illustrious sitarist Ravi Shankar, flautist Pannalal Ghosh, and Ali Akbar Khan's own son sarodist, Aashish Khan.

Ali Khan's musical training was rigorous. For more than 20 years, starting at age three, he practiced every day for 18 hours a day. In an interview with V. R. Rao posted on the Cyberabad Web site, Khan explained that he learned music like a child learns language. "I didn't consciously want to learn music. It was more like a language that an infant learns," he said.

Khan's early musical education included a variety of string and percussion instruments including the sarod, sitar, sursingar, pakhavaj, rabab, and violin. In addition to the instruction from his father, Khan also learned vocals from his sister Jehanara and percussion from his uncle, Fakir Aftabuddin. Eventually, his father recommended that he focus on the sarod, an ancient steel-clad member of the lute family at least 2,000 years old with 25 strings and played with a bow. The sarod, Khan's father said, could fulfill 200 instruments in one.

Success Came Early
Khan made his first public performance, in Allahabad in 1935, when he was only 13 years old. At the same time, he began composing his own music under his father's direction. His skill was such that, when he was still a teenager, Khan was scheduled to accompany his father on a tour of Europe and America. However, the plans were canceled because Khan did not like the idea of being away from his mother, and he was not practicing his music as much as his father felt he should. The elder Khan cut his tour short and returned to India, to make sure his son practiced 15 to 18 hours a day.

In 1938 Ravi Shankar began studying with Allauddin Khan in Maihar and, in 1941 he married his teacher's daughter, Ali Khan's sister Annapurna, who was then considered to be the premiere player of the surbahar, a deeper-toned, heavier relative of the sitar, which was Shankar's chosen instrument. Ali Khan studied along with his now-brother-in-law Shankar and, thanks to the guidance of Alluddin Khan, the two musicians became highly regarded in Hindustani music circles for their duets.

In 1943, when he was 21, Khan was appointed court musician to the maharaja of Jodhpur. Khan held this position until the maharaja died several years later. The state of Jodhpur bestowed on the young musician the title of "Ustad," or master musician. At first, Khan's father was amused that his son would receive such a high honor at such an early age. However, later in life, Allauddin Khan told his son that he had been extremely proud of him. Then, to show his pleasure and respect, he gave his son the title of "Swara Samrat" or "emperor of melody." Of all the honors that he received in his life, Ali Khan would value that one the most.

During the 1940s Khan also made his first sound recordings, and he began his own career as a teacher, instructing Maharajah Hanumantha Singh. New opportunities opened up when he met world famous violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin at a recital in Delhi in 1952. Menuhin, who would call Khan one of the greatest musician in the world, was so impressed that he encouraged the young man to perform in the West. This resulted in Khan's first trip to the United States in 1955, when he appeared in a first-of-its kind concert at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In addition, he appeared on Alistair Cooke's Omnibus television show, marking the first time Indian music was performed live on television. Khan's appearance had an enormous impact. It opened the door to Western acceptance of Indian music, an acceptance that reached full bloom in the 1960s, due, in large part, to the embracement of Indian music by the so-called "counterculture." However, at that time, Indian music and culture seemed alien to many Americans. "When I came in '55, because I was in Indian dress, people on the street in New York came out of the bars and shops and followed us," Khan remembered in an interview with Neela Banerjee for Asian Week. "They asked me, 'Who are you? Where are you from?' When I said 'India,' some of them didn't even know where it was. Or others who knew I was a musician asked funny questions like, 'How can you play music in India with all the tigers and snakes and monkeys you have to fight off?'"

In 1955 Khan also released his first Western recordings of Indian classical music, titled Music of India and Morning and Evening Ragas. The following year he established the Ali Akbar College of Music in Calcutta, India. During the same decade Khan first began composing music for films, an activity he engaged in throughout his career. He composed his first score in 1953 for Aandhiyan, a film by Indian filmmaker Chetan Anand. Later, he would compose music for Devi (1960), by internationally acclaimed Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray; The Householder, (1963), the first film directed by the celebrated team of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory; and Little Buddha, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

Opened Music School
Throughout the 1960s, Khan continued recording music and releasing recordings. In 1963 and 1966 he received the President of India Award. In addition, acting upon the influence of his father, who had taught him the value of teaching music, he established the Ali Akbar College of Music in Berkeley, California, in 1967, and moved the school to a new location in Marin County two years later. For a long time, he had attempted to set up a school in his homeland, with little success. "For thirty years I struggled to establish a teaching institution in Calcutta," he told Rao. "But it wasn't possible. No response."

By the mid-1960s the West was receptive to listening to and learning about Indian music. A large part of the general public had became aware of Indian music due to the interest in the form by popular rock musicians, such as George Harrison of the Beatles and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, both of whom integrated Indian instrumentation into their own compositions. The essence of Indian music fit well with the times, and many in the youth movement were willing and ready to explore ideas that were either ancient, revolutionary, exotic, or esoteric.

Complex in form, Indian music is also spiritual and contemplative. Although a performer, Khan sees himself more as a listener and as an extension of his sarod, and he can lose his sense of self while performing. Indian music, he explained to Rao, "is like a meditation, like going to temple. Music makes your heart very, very, very clear. You can feel what is peace, what is friendship, what is love, what you can do for others. Even when you hear, it is like fresh air, clean water - even if you don't understand it, when you hear it, it is pure."

The West Embraced Indian Music
By the mid-to late 1960s classical Indian musicians such as Khan and Shankar were appearing at U.S. and U.K. music festivals, including the ground-breaking Monterey Pop Festival in San Francisco in 1967 and the first Woodstock music festival held in Bethel, New York, in 1969. In fact, Indian music became a staple at such events, while also gaining its largest mass-audience exposure with The Concert for Bangladesh, a documentary film of a musical benefit organized by Harrison to raise funds for the starving people of that country. The performing lineup included some of the most famous rock stars of the era including Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and Leon Russell as well as Shankar, who was accompanied for the event by Khan, Alla Rakah, and Kamala Chakravarty. (For his own concerts, Khan was most often accompanied by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri on the tabla and son Alam on the sarode.)

During this period, Khan's fame on the international circuit was second only to that of Shankar due to Shankar's longer association with the Beatles. While Shankar had by now divorced Khan's sister, Annapurna, Shankar remained a disciple of Allauddin Khan. Shankar and Khan performed together for the final time at Montpellier, France, in July of 1985. Despite many pleas and generous offers, they never performed together again.

Honors and Awards Accumulated
In 1971 Khan received a Gold Disc award for his appearance on the bestselling Concert for Bangladesh album. The previous year, he earned a Grammy nomination for the recording Shree Rag. In 1973 and 1974 he received doctor of literature degrees from the Rabindra Bharati University in Calcutta, India, and the University of Dacca in Bangladesh, respectively.

In 1979 Khan started his own recording label, Alam Medina Music Productions label, named after his son. Throughout the next decade his recorded output was prolific. He released six albums in 1980, three in 1981, and four in 1982. In 1983, the year he released two more albums, he was again nominated for a Grammy award, this time for Misra Piloo. The following year he released four more albums and received a doctor of letters degree from the University of Delhi, India. From 1985 to 1986 Khan released nine more albums.

In addition to recording, Khan invested time in teaching. In 1985 he opened a new branch of his music school in Switzerland. In 1988, the year he produced his first music video, he received the Padma Vibhusan award, which is the highest honor presented to a civilian in India. He continued amassing honors and awards throughout the 1990s, in 1991 alone receiving the Kalidas Sanman award from the Madya Pradesh Academy of Music and Fine Arts as well as an honorary doctorate degree in arts from the California Institute of the Arts. He also became the first Indian musician to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. The following year, he received the Mahatma Gandhi Cultural Award in London. In 1993 he was honored with the titles of Hathi Saropao and Dowari Tajeem during the Jodhpur Palace's Golden Jubilee Celebration, and also received the Bill Graham Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bay Area Music Awards Foundation.

Established Akbar Foundation
In 1994 Khan founded the Ali Akbar Khan Foundation to fund the Baba Allauddin Khan Institute, a library and archive dedicated to the preservation of his own compositions as well as his father's. This large-scale archiving project involves more than 30,000 compositions, including more than 10,000 compositions from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Khan's wife, sons, and students have joined their efforts to convert collections of music from old reel-to-reel tapes to digital master tapes.

In 1997, the year Khan celebrated his 75th birthday, he received the prestigious National Heritage fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The presentation was made at the White House by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. That same year Khan became the second recipient, after filmmaker Satyajit Ray, to receive the Asian Paints Shiromani-Hall of Fame Award. In August of 1997, to celebrate the 50th year of India's independence, Khan performed at the United Nations in New York and at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the request of the Indian Embassy.

Khan received yet another doctorate degree in 1998, this one from the Viswa Bharati University in Shantiniketan, India. He also received the Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque from the Asiatic Society of Calcutta. That same year, Willie L. Brown Jr., mayor of San Francisco, proclaimed October 18th "Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Day." In 1999 Khan was appointed adjunct professor to the Department of Music at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In this position he gave concerts and conducted classes and workshops. He also advised the Arts Division in developing courses and resources in classical music of India.

In 2002, to celebrate his life and times, Khan performed an 80th birthday concert at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. He was accompanied by his 20-year old son Alam and tabla player Swapan Chaudhuri. Also that year, he received an honorary degree in musical arts from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Like his father before him, Khan has continued teaching and performing, although he gradually has cut down on his public performances. Also like his father, much of Khan's time is devoted to teaching his son, Alam.

1. Raag Manjh Khamaj - Tuning, Short Alap & Gat
2. Raag Madhumand Sarang - Short Alap & Gat

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Tomoko Sunazaki - Tegoto Japanese Koto Music

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments
This splendid collection of recordings covers a wide spectrum of Japanese koto music; the compositions span three centuries, from ancient traditional to modern Western influenced pieces. Undoubtedly, the most impressive element of the releases is the artist herself, the world renowned Tomoko Sunazaki. She is internationally recognized as a master of the Japanese koto. From the age of six, Sunazaki was trained in the direct lineage of the famous koto performer and composer, Michio Miyagi. At the age of 14, she had already earned her teacher's license in koto from the Ikuta School. Later she earned her Bachelor and Master degrees at the Tokyo University of Fine Art, and subsequently joined the faculty there. In 1981, Madame Sunazaki was awarded a teaching degree from the Miyagi Koto school, which is a rare honor.

Michio Miyagi's works are an integral part of each of the releases in this collection, performed with respect and devotion. Miyagi was one of the first to integrate Western inspiration into koto music, an aspect Madame Sunazaki found especially important. By recording traditional Japanese music, Western classics, and the delicate blend of both, she hoped to expand the perceived limitations of the koto.

Drawing from Sound of Silk Strings (1984), Spring Night (1984) and Moon at Dawn (1986) this compilation CD presents a delicious sampling of Sunuzaki's most elegant and most exciting performances.

Special note should be taken of the beautiful release Tegoto: Japanese Koto Music. From the stunning rice paper booklet to the choice of titles, this compilation is clearly an artistic masterpiece. This sampling of Madame Sunazaki's most elegant and exciting performances is the perfect choice for the audiophile interested in koto music.

This 60-minute CD-only release is a compilation from Mme. Sunazaki's tapes, plus one cut from Moon at Dawn (her duet with M. Koga). Ms. Sunazaki is a master of the koto, and the music is graceful and serene. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats

Personnel: Tomoko Sunazaki (koto).

Recording information: Chiku-Shin Studios, Navarro, CA.

1. Sea of Spring
2. London no Yoru no Ame
3. Shinsencho Bukyoku
4. Koto Tanshishu
5. Tegoto
6. Mittsu no Dansho
7. Kamimu
8. Midare

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Japan: Kabuki & Other Traditional Music

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments
Ensemble Nipponia
Explorer Series: East Asia/Japan
Kabuki & Other Traditional Music
This other CD by the well-known Japanese ensemble Ensemble Nipponia is the re-release of a LP first released in 1980 by Nonesuch in their collection on Japanese music. In the first half of this CD, we hear pieces and songs of the well-known Japanese kabuki theater, in the style called nagauta (which means "long song"). Nagauta is not the only style used in kabuki, but is the most important and most appropriately adapted to stage actions, providing dance accompaniment, songs, and background music. The ensemble usually comprises singers, shamisen players, percussionists, and a shinobue player (a small bamboo transverse flute). In the second half of the CD, we can here other traditional pieces from the classical repertoire, such a piece for two shakuhachi, an episode of the well-known Japanese epic "Tale of Heike," the singer accompanying herself on the biwa (the Japanese four-string lute), and ending with two modern compositions, one for a 20-string koto and one for shinobue and percussions. A well deserved re-edition from quite surely the best Japanese ensemble. ~ Bruno Deschênes

Much as with the art of Japanese cuisine, each element in the performance of this often centuries-old music has symbolic importance, from the type and shape of the instrument being used to the sound of a player's breath before he or she moves on to the next note. Each is an essential part of an exquisite greater whole. The same can be said for this latest reissue of East Asian recordings from the Nonesuch Explorer Series: the austere cover artwork and the historical liner notes in the CD booklet, along with the music itself, form a deep impression of the nature of Kabuki theatre, its philosophy as well as its sound. That should come as no surprise to the many fans of the Explorer Series, which has been introducing music from around the globe to adventurous listeners for forty years. This particular edition, Kabuki and Other Traditional Music, is a fascinating companion piece to Shakuhachi: A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky, reissued this spring. Whereas that disc presented spare, contemplative solo works played by Goro Yamaguchi, the highly dramatic tracks here are performed by the eleven-piece Ensemble Nipponia. The group, which formed in 1964, became known around the world for its skill at reviving and preserving traditional Japanese repertoire and for its desire to showcase modern work in a similar mould, employing the same instruments as the musicians who had conjured up these sounds many generations before. These live performances were recorded by Explorer Series producer David Lewiston in October, 1978 at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City during Ensemble Nipponia's second American tour. The album's first half consists of excerpts from the naguata ("long song") music that accompanies the dances featured in Kabuki theatre and serves as background music during its narrative portions. Featured throughout is the shamisen, a three-stringed lute not unlike a banjo; in most of the Kabuki pieces, tailored for the concert hall rather than a theatre, the shamisen is the focus. Listen to "Atsumori," however, adapted from an 800 year-old military epic, and one will also hear an impassioned human voice propelling the action. The final two pieces were composed by Ensemble Nipponia leader Minoru Miki, who, in his writing, combines the traditional with the contemporary and, in the process, creates something timeless.

Generally speaking, the Nonesuch Explorer Series is pretty reliable if you're looking for good CDs of international music, and that definitely holds true for this wonderful CD of Japanese music. As with the other Japanese music releases in this series, the music is performed by Ensemble Nipponia, which is a fine choice--these folks are superb musicians who have something of a knack for performing traditional Japanese music in a manner both very authentic while approachable to the modern ear...just the right balance really.

Speaking of balance, this album's tracks divide up pretty evenly between the "Kabuki" music (tracks 1-4) and the "Other Traditional" music (tracks 5-8). the Kabuki selections are, as is fitting, dramatic and energetic. If you like the sound of the shamisen, you'll love these selections, and there is an emphasis on musical pieces with less dialogue and more dance. The "other traditional" includes a track of shakuhachi flute music and then another form in the genre of musical drama besides Kabuki, namely the Recitation of "The Tale of the Heike" accompanied by the biwa lute. The last two are modern compositions in a neo-traditional mode, both really fine, one a beautifully haunting melody on the koto and the other an evocation of the lively and tumultuous music of a shrine festival.

Whatever your level of interest in Japanese music, I highly recommend this CD. In authenticity and listenability it makes for a fine intro, but as a longtime dyed-in-the-wool fan of Japanese music I find myself listening to this CD again and again and enjoying it every time.

While this CD and this type of music in general is usually for devoted fans, The Ensemble Nipponia makes this an interesting experience. The tracks are filled with classic shamisen (japanese 4 string guitar), as well as bamboo flutes, and many other instruments. The tracks hold stories within their notes, and the listener call only imagine what classic Kabuki actions are used to portray these stories. All-in-all, this CD is a very smooth, relaxing listen, and can help a listener learn what Kabuki music is really like, as well as relax the mind and let his troubles go. In parting, I highly recommend this CD for anyone interested in Japanese culture or Kabuki, and I also recommend it for anyone who is curious as to what it sounds like.

1. Echigojishi (The Echigo Lion)
2. Ataka No Matsu (The Pine Tree At Ataka)
3. Musume Dojoji (The Maiden At The Dojo Temple)
4. Kanjincho (The Subscription List)
5. Shirabe-Sagariha (The Sound Of The Wind Through The Bamboo Leaves)
6. Atsumori (The Death Of Atsumori)
7. Hanayagi (The Greening)
8. Satto (Wind Dance)

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Paco De Lucía – Nueva Antología

Posted By MiOd On Monday, January 23, 2012 0 comments

This is a great intro to the Master's work. Beginning with his early music which stunned the flamenco world in the late 60's, things quickly take a more experimental and even more exciting turn from the early 70's with the improvisatory style of "Entre dos Aguas". His fusion of flamenco, world rhythms and jazz from the 80's on are also represented in this anthology.

What you don't get is any of the collaborations, so no Cameron or work with John McLaughlin et al, but as a way of getting to know the solo work of Paco de Lucia in various contexts, whether playing solo or with various lineups of his sextet, then this is a great record. The one constant is his passionate and inspiring guitar playing.

This 27-track compilation, released to coincide with the flamenco guitar legend’s 2004 Prince of Asturias prize for the arts, spans two discs and includes some of his best-loved songs, including “Punta del Faro,” “Entre Dos Aguas,” “Gitanos Andaluces,” and "Río Ancho.” James Christopher Monger, Rovi

Disc: 1
(01). Punta Del Faro
(02). Canastera
(03). Entre Dos Aguas
(04). Aires Choqueros
(05). Fuente Y Caudal
(06). Solea
(07). Almoraima
(08). Cueva Del Gato
(09). Rio Ancho
(10). Llanos Del Real
(11). Falla: Danza Ritual Del Fuego
(12). La Tumbona
(13). Monasterio De Sal
(14). Solo Quiero Caminar

Disc: 2
(01). Gitanos Andaluces
(02). Palenque
(03). Mi Niño Curro
(04). La Barrosa
(05). Gloria Al Niño Ricardo
(06). Zyryab
(07). Playa Del Carmen
(08). Iberia: 3. Puerto
(09). Soniquette
(10). Buana Buana King Kong
(11). Me Regale
(12). Luzia
(13). Rio De La Miel

Paco de Lucía: guitarra.
Segunda guitarra: Ramón de Algeciras.
Saxo y flauta: Jorge Pardo.
Percusión: Ruben Dantas.

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