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

Lord Echo: Harmonies (Soundway/The Label)

Lord Echo: Harmonies (Soundway/The Label)

One of the more shamelessly enjoyable acts at the recent Womad was Lord Echo (aka Wellington producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Fabulous) and his band. Their astute melting pot of many... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Beck: Modern Guilt (DGC)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Beck: Modern Guilt (DGC)

For my money there are only two indispensible Beck albums: Odelay of '96 and Mutations of two years later. That said, there are another couple I'd prefer not to live without -- and this one... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Unity Pacific: Into the Dread (Moving Productions/EMI)

Unity Pacific: Into the Dread (Moving Productions/EMI)

When the documentary about the life of Unity Pacific's singer-songwriter Tigi Ness made it to the small screen on Maori TV and the Film Festival many in the country had their introduction to a... > Read more

GUEST WRITER KEVIN BYRT recalls touring the strangely troubled Townes Van Zandt

GUEST WRITER KEVIN BYRT recalls touring the strangely troubled Townes Van Zandt

I first met Townes Van Zandt at Auckland airport in 1988. He and guitarist Mickey White were waiting on the pavement, Townes sitting on his suitcase and Mickey standing next to him. Even in that... > Read more