Friday, January 27, 2012

CD Review: Kayhan Kalhor & Ali Bahrami Fard's 'I Will Not Stand Alone'

Kayhan Kalhor & Ali Bahrami Fard
I Will Not Stand Alone
World Village

The prominent Iranian composer and musician, Kayhan Kalhor, combines meditative and adventurous compositions on a new instrument—the shah kaman—along with Ali Bahrami Fard’s bass santoor. The earthy sound of the shah kaman resembles a darker version of the kamancheh, though it is similar in appearance. The floating melodies of shah kaman and bass santoor elicit dreamy images of Persian classical music that is reinvented for a new generation. Keep in mind, only shah kaman and bass santoor instruments are included on this album. Technical wizardry and vocals are nowhere to be found. The interplay between the shah kaman and the bass santoor come to a head on “The Laziest Summer Afternoon.” At times, the music is complex and frenzied. However, it is interspersed with quieter moments that really grab the attention of listeners. The entire album is about one-hour long with tracks ranging in length from under two-minutes to fourteen-minutes. At any rate, the Persian music listener will find solace in the punchy notes of the bass santoor and the earthy gliding of the shah kaman. ~ Matthew Forss

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