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Where Rivers Meet

Price: £18.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Manushi
  • ASIN: B001ECE662
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

CD Description

Following her 2007 Mercury Award-nominated album Melting Pot, pianist Zoe Rahman releases her new album, Where Rivers Meet - a collaboration with her brother, Idris Rahman (clarinet, flute, & bass clarinet) - showcasing a unique, jazz inspired take on their Bengali heritage. Zoes regular trio members, drummer Gene Calderazzo and bassist Oli Hayhurst, are augmented by: violinist Samy Bishai, percussionist Kuljit Bhamra - plus Dhaka based vocal star Arnob, and three additional vocalists. There are hauntingly beautiful interpretations of the music of Rabindranath Tagore, Gauri Majumdar & Hemanta Mukherjee, Pranab Roy & Kamal Dasgupta, Hemant Kumar, and Jasim Uddin, among others - with all arrangements by the two Rahman leaders. This is a rich, vibrant album of Anglo-Asian music, where jazz meets world music, with dazzling soloing and interplay from all concerned, but especially Zoe and Idris (who also leads his own Soothsayers band). The album comes in a delightfully designed gatefold digipack sleeve, with excellent 12-page booklet.

BBC Review

How much do we know about Bengali music? Not much, considering the fact that this area straddling India and Bangladesh has a greater population than Brazil. Bengal's best-known musical tradition is that of the Bauls, a non-conformist mystical brotherhood and a local form of Sufism. One of their champions was Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel prize-winning Bengali poet and songwriter whose work was incorporated into their music. He's one of the artists whose work is interpreted here by Zoe Rahman (piano) and her brother Idris (clarinet/flute), UK musicians of Bengali descent who are both veterans of the world fusion outfit, Soothsayers.

Where Rivers Meet is a gently flowing jazz-inspired album, two thirds of which is instrumental, although judging by the titles, maybe a few more of the pieces once had texts. Apart from the occasional burp and flutter of Kuljit Bhamra's tabla, the arrangements and style of playing (with Zoe's melodic lines shadowed and echoed by clarinet) most closely resemble those on Payanir, the wonderful 2005 album by Turkish pianist Ayse Tütüncu.

After a placid opening, things get a bit stormier with the arrival of drummer Gene Calderazzo on Sanctuary, which also features the folky tones of violinist Samy Bishai and beautiful trickling effects by Zoe Rahman. The mood alters again on Betrayed, when Bengali vocal star Arnob starts crooning. Pilgrim's Song has smouldering percussive atmospherics with evocative hums and non-verbal vocalisations, while Tagore's closing song Do You Wish To Forget? sounds like a philosophical Bengali makeover of the Scottish folk song Auld Lang Syne, sung as a rather sweet lullaby.

This is pensive, late night listening. Zoe Rahman's light touch is a delight throughout, while her brother switches between clarinet and bass clarinet to good effect, and Oli Hayhurst adds the booming resonance of double bass in places. At first the singers are slightly intrusive, but they make sense after a couple of listens. It's a slow grower, and a modest rather towering achievement, but give its gentle charms a chance and you may find yourself liking it a whole lot more than you'd expected. --Jon Lusk

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nick Radin on 24 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD
From the very first bars of the first track on this CD there is a rare transcendental beauty to the music being played here. It is both calm and joyous, Zoe Rahman's rippling piano runs, that seem to leap and rise in beautiful extended runs, intertwined with her brother Idris's clarinet and flute, at times mellow, at others wonderfully pure. It is an exploration and a unity, an exploration of the Rahmans' Bengali heritage, and a unification of their Western and Eastern experience and roots. Some tracks are celestially calm, others swirl with dancing rhythms. Extraordinary in every sense. If you like the fluid dexterity of modern, but not dissonant, jazz, or the rhythms and diversity of different musical cultures across the world, the music they play here should delight you. As highly recommended as music can be!
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