BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Azam Ali: From Night to the Edge of Day (Six Degrees)

 |   |  <1 min read

Azam Ali: Dandini
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Azam Ali: From Night to the Edge of Day (Six Degrees)

Nominally lullabies from around the Middle East, this breathy and exceptional album by the Iranian-born Canadian-resident Ali -- singer in the band Niyaz -- becomes something much more hypnotic as here keening voice explores those delightful microtones common in the music of the region.

Very much the global citizen -- she lived in India as a child, relocated to LA with her mother in '85, studied santoor, and cites Hildegard Von Bingen and Lakshmi Shankar as equal influences -- Ali draws the material here from Persia, Palestine, various Kurdish communities and Turkey.

And although they are lullabies (she has a young son) they have an eerie and often hauntingly beautiful quality which is underscored by strings, oud, unusual percussion and fiddle. So while this could have erred towards Enya-kitsch it feels much more grounded and filled with some ineffable sense of yearning.

Songs like the Turkish Dandini, the mysterious Nami Nami and dramatic Shirin (which would put no child to sleep) will sweep you away to what used to be called "the mystic East".

Her own songs Faith and Tenderness ease in effortlessly for their timeless quality also.

This is quite a remarkable album, but don't expect to use it to get the kids off to sleep. Savour it yourself in the quiet time after they've nodded off over Cat in the Hat.

Want something about lullabies but rather different, and sometimes more scary? Try this

FOR OTHER 'BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011' ALBUMS GO HERE

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

Perhaps like most Elsewhere readers, I'd never heard of this quite remarkable woman previously, but a bit of research shows she was born in Missouri, is now based in Chicago and had a previous... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

In the last couple of years this UK-based Canadian-born singer-songwriter (aka Ben Darvill, formerly of Crash Test Dummies) has conjured up the spirit and sound of old bluesmen punctuated with raw... > Read more

Singapore: A cheap treat

Singapore: A cheap treat

Singapore is awash with cheap eats and fine dining. From the outdoor restaurants in Chinatown and Little India to the exquisitely presented fine cuisine at the Zhang Jin Jei-designed My Humble... > Read more