Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bartok, Toumani Diabate, Amir Koushkani, Sal Ferreras, Francois Houle: Playlist for The Open Window for June 22, 2009

The Open Window airs at (Kootenay Co-op Radio) Sundays at 10 am and Mondays at 6:30 am

Safa: Chahar Mezrab from Alight (Songlines)

This 2002 recording is the only one ever made by this wonderful group consisting of Amir Koushkani, the Iranian-Canadian player of the stringed instruments the tar and the setar, Vancouver percussionist Sal Ferreras and Vancouver classical/jazz/other clarinetist Francois Houle.

I played this for the people of Iran.

Francois Houle is a brilliant musician who has made a career of bringing classical training and sound to free jazz and to world music. It is really a revelation to hear classical clarinet tone quality applied to other kinds of music-- in this CD it lifts everything to a new realm of openness and clarity. Combine that with the performance of Amir Koushkani which "exudes a passionate air that reaches deeply into our souls. His voice speaks a musical language of longing, ecstasy and joy." (Sal Ferreras from the CD notes.)

And Sal Ferreras is world music percussion itself.

Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra; Seiji Ozawa and the Chicago Symphony from Bartok Concerto for Orchestra and Kodaly Dances of Galanta (Angel)

No photo of the album because it is so entirely out of print. This is one of the most colorful and dramatic orchestral pieces anywhere: interesting combinations of instruments combined with harmonies and melodies from the folk life of Bartok's native Hungary create one of Bartok's most "accessible" works. It was written in the U.S. in 1943 shortly before Bartok's death.

Toumani Diabate: El Nabiyouna and Canatelowes from The Mande Variations (Nonesuch)

More sophisticated harp from the desert. See previous post.

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