In a career which spans over a decade and includes eight collaborative and solo albums, Azam Ali has confirmed her place as one of the most prolific, versatile, and gifted singers in the world music scene today. Looking at her entire body of work, it is hard to deny Azam her rightful place among the best singers and composers in music today. Azam's immense talent and ability to adapt her voice to any musical style have drawn the attention of many diverse artists and film composers. Azam collaborated in the studio and on stage with numerous artists like Serj Tankian of System of a Down, The Crystal Method, Pat Mastellato and Trey Gunn of King Crimson, Dredg, Chris Vrenna formerly of Nine Inch Nails, Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor, Buckethead, Steve Stevens, film composer Tyler Bates, Mercan Dede, the world renowned Japanese group Kodo, Zakir Hussain, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and Mickey Hart with whom she also toured for two years as a lead singer in his group Bembe Orisha. Her latest band project Niyaz with Loga Ramin Torkian of Axiom of Choice, and two time Grammy nominee producer/ re-mixer Carmen Rizzo, released on Six Degrees Records, blended ancient Persian and Urdu Sufi poetry, rich acoustic instrumentation, and modern electronics. It has been hailed by critics worldwide as one of the most groundbreaking of its time. Elysium For The Brave, Azam's second solo album, signals a new turn in her musical evolution. The album, her most ambitious work to date, brings together musicians from varied musical backgrounds performing in diverse permutations. The result is a highly coherent body of work that seamlessly weaves together all of Azam's cultural and musical influences into a haunting tapestry of atmospheric rock, electronic, and global sounds. Singing predominantly in English for the first time, the songs are based on lyrics written by Azam herself and reveal a poetic lyricism heard only in glimpses in her previous works.
For this, her second solo album, Azam Ali, lead vocalist of Vas and Niyaz, takes her patented polycultural blend of ancient and contemporary influences even farther beyond the stratosphere. That she is now a veteran of numerous film scores, including Children of Dune, Earthsea, and Matrix Revolutions, perhaps explains her present more cinematic direction. Born in Iran, reared in India and the US, and gifted with a voice of improbable tonal breadth, flexibility, and beauty, she is backed by collaborators like Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Chris Venna (Nine Inch Nails), Turkish DJ/composer Mercan Dede, the Japanese ensemble Kodo, and Grateful Dead drummer/world percussion enthusiast Mickey Hart. One of the more interesting conundrums inherent in Ali's work is that no matter how much electronic technology she employs, her immersion in her heritage unfailingly comes across loud and clear. Whether she is singing in English, which predominates on these sessions, Farsi, or another language, a prayerful sensuality informs every note. It's as though a sexy Tanagra temple figurine or silk-clad court lady from an antique parchment were to suddenly turn her lovely head and step daintily into the modern world, unfurling precisely the kind of voice one expected but never could have imagined.
1. Endless Reverie
2. Spring Arrives
3. In Other Worlds
5. Forty One Ways
6. The Tryst
7. From Heaven To Dust
8. I Am A Stranger In This World
9. In This Divide
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