Thursday, May 24, 2012

CD Review: Niyaz' 'Sumud'

Six Degrees

The modern arrangements of the Persian group Niyaz are steeped in Persian, Kurdish, Afghani, Palestinian, and Turkish folk songs. The contemporary arrangements on keyboards, electronics, drums, and percussion are due to the talented Carmen Rizzo. Azam Ali is the vocalist, but she also plays the santoor and assorted percussion. Loga Ramin Torkian plays saz, robab, kamaan, djumbush, lafta, guitar, and viol. The stunning compositions are modernized, but not so much they are diluted with boring or cheap embellishments. Instead, the result is a catchy, moving, and ear-friendly approach to folk music. The popularized result is not devoid of folkish charm. Sumud, which means 'steadfastness' in Arabic, is appropriately-titled. Sumud will astound, amaze, and awe-inspire all who listen to it. ~ Matthew Forss

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