Friday, December 17, 2010

CD Review: 'Afghan Music'

Zohreh Jooya & Ustad Hossein Arman
Afghan Music

Formed in 2002, the Afghan Ensemble's latest singer, Zohreh Jooya and composer, vocalist, and harmonium player, Ustad Hossein Arman, transcend historical boundaries and present a fine set of folk music from Afghanistan's past. Zohreh Jooya was raised in Iran at a location near the Afghanistan border. Ustad Hossein Arman is joined by Khaled Arman on dilruba, tambur, rubab; Sobeir Bachtiar on rubab; Siar Hashimi on tabla, dholak, serbaghali, dyra; Osman Arman on toolak; and Wahid Kamran on tabla. The ensemble creates fascinating rhythms and moods that do not venture into modern arrangements. The music is relatively folksy with some influence from India, Central Asia, and Pakistan. Most of the songs are about five minutes in length, which allows for ample time to listen to the beautiful instrumentation and melodies. Any music coming out of Afghanistan today is rather rare in the global marketplace, so buy Afghan Music today and show your support for the Afghan Ensemble. Extensive liner notes are included in English, German, French, and Spanish. ~ Matthew Forss

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