Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CD Review: Mamer - Eagle

Real World

Born in China's northwestern Xinjiang province, Mamer has been a pervasive figure in Chinagrass music: a blend of traditional Kazakh folk music and Chinese bluegrass. Mamer plays the guitar, dombra, sherter (plucked lute), Jew's harp, and dabel drum. He is joined by members of his band, IZ, on ghijek, kobyz, and sybyzghy (end-blown flute), as well as Mongolia's Hanggai, Grammy Award-winning musician, Bela Fleck on banjo, and a bonus track by the late-Hector Zazou. On Eagle, the ethnic elements of traditional, nomadic cultures encounter contemporary musical production and innovation. The throaty vocals of Mamer float gently alongside folksy instrumentation. In fact, the whole musical package is aptly named Eagle, because, it soars high like an eagle. Everyone who listens to Mamer will find themselves floating with excitement. It's that good. ~ Matthew Forss

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