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Album Review

Chemirani, Djamchid – “Improvisations Au Zarb : Classical Traditions of Iran” – [Harmonia Mundi France]

Thurston Hunger   5/6/2015   CD, International

tight and tuned notes from his zarb ( a singled sided classical
Persian percussion instrument)m but also produced two sons who
share the beat of their father, Keyvan and Bijan. This album was
recorded when the boys were quite young, Djamchild’s playing
is dynamic, drifting distant and popping closer to your ears,
quick fills of all fingertips and then a squeezing of a
single note for a few beats. The squeezing always gets me
with percussion and the concluding track has strong examples
of that. The lead off track, and indeed many of the pieces,
feel like they are pushing you on into something, hard to
resist, but as you realize they are instrumentals you forget
about a spike fiddle or santur flying in and appreciate the
musicality over the math-measured counting. Track 4 is a zarb
duet with Jacques Marcovich, while they sync up a lot, there’s
also and some nice ping-pong playing on the skins as well as
in the ears via headphones, bouncing off each other. Part of
me found this disc a bit dry, hoping for the splash of a fountain
of sound, but maybe that’s my modern mind, this surely is
the echo of history. -Thurston Hunger

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