Date: February 18th, 2012 Venue: Town Hall (New York)
Review by Piruz Partow
Music passed through family can be a very special thing. Like many Persian musical families, Homayoun Shajarian, son of Iran’s most famous vocalist Ostad Mohammad Reza Shajarian, carries with him a fantastic musical tradition and this was evident in his performance with the Hesar Ensemble. Obviously expectations are high when you are the great Shajarian’s son. Homayoun has definitely been under the watchful eyes of his father; performing in his fathers group as a vocalist and zarb player for decades now. Homayoun Sharijan had already had some wonderful performances away from his fathers shadow most notably with Ostad Hamid Motabassam’s Simroq project. So even with high expectations, this performance did not disappoint and in fact assured that this great vocal tradition will be carried on for another generation.
Artist: Kiosk Title: Triple Distilled – Live at Yoshi’s “Seh Taghtireh” Label: 9821 Productions Genre: World/Persian contemporary
Review by Piruz Partow
Kiosk‘s live recording at the world famous Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland is a fun listen with upbeat energy and spirit. For the non-Farsi speaker, a lot can be lost with this recording, so it is recommended to refer to the Kiosk website that conveniently gives translations of the song. This record has a lot of gypsy spirit to it compared to other recordings by Kiosk that are more rock and funk oriented. With heavy violin and accordion this album really shows a heavy influence in the Jazz Manouche or Gypsy Jazz that was created by the great Django Reinhardt in Europe in the mid 20th century. A real highlight on the record is a guest appearance by Bruno Pelletier who plays in a very gitan/gypsy style on several tracks. Where some live albums tend to hold a band back and show their limitations, this record shows how versatile and diverse Kiosk is. The sound quality and arrangements are top notch with quality musicianship filled with both intensity and control. This record is a must for any farsi speaking music lover.
Date: February 18, 2012 Venue: 92nd Street Y Tribeca (NY)
Review by Jeremy Siskind
Jessica Lurie‘s set at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca, which previewed her upcoming CD, Megaphone Heart, skillfully wove elements of jazz, soul, folk, rock, and world music into a constantly surprising musical tapestry. Lurie, a virtuosic saxophonist, flautist, and vocalist, boasted an equally rich and personal tone on all three instruments. Her band, whose members’ backgrounds include both jazz and non-jazz experience, was anchored by a dynamic rhythm section of rising-star drummer Allison Miller and broad-toned bassist Todd Sickafoose, who also co-produced her album.
The luminous aspects of the violinist’s songbook take a backseat when she leads this wonderfully frenzied outfit. Nels Cline’s cyclone guitar work is often up front, but the music’s architecture demands full participation from all, so drummer Jim Black’s pummels and bassist Todd Sickafoose’s tub-thumping are crucial. Neat trick: even Scheinman’s most menacing squalls have a bit of romance to them. – Jim Macnie for the Village Voice Continue reading →