Sunday, March 21, 2010

CD Review: Urna's 2001 "Jamar"


Mongolia's Urna performs her signature vocals on Jamar. In this case, Mongolia's national instrument, the morin huur (horsehead fiddle), makes an appearance, unlike on her other recordings. In addition, a zither, percussion, and throat-singing is included, too. Jamar is closely aligned with elements of Chinese folk music, which results from Urna's global wanderings over the years. It is an engaging journey, a movie soundtrack, a day on the steppes, and a peaceful river of harmony, style, and rhythm. A particularly interesting track is "Grandmother and I". It features a spritely rhythm, good tempo, folk-roots elements, lively vocals, and catchy sounds. The zither sounds similar in tone to a cross between a piano and acoustic guitar. Jamar is a trans-global recording primarily inspired by the historical roots of Mongolian and Chinese music creations. Urna is easily one of the best recording artists to emerge out of Mongolia. ~ Matthew Forss

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