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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jan. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Manushi Records
  • ASIN: B006L4BFLC
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

BBC Review

The core combo for pianist Zoe Rahman’s latest ethno-jazz odyssey is a trio, with bass and drums, although half of the pieces herein end up being expanded by a fourth member. In most cases it’s her brother Idris, playing clarinet; but reedsman Courtney Pine also steps in on one tune, wielding his less-likely alto flute. In recent times, Rahman has become a regular member of Pine’s group, which has magnified her already significant presence on the UK jazz scene.

Rahman has always skirted around jazz, dropping in classical influences and swishing around elements from her mixed heritage. Recent projects have concentrated on this later awareness, adding motifs from the pianist’s Bengali and Irish ancestry. The result, as with many globally-aware artists, is a type of composition that melds all of its disparate constituents into a final form that becomes difficult to disentangle, therefore taking on a deeply personal hue. Rahman also manages to thoroughly inhabit the three selections penned by the hugely influential Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.

The global traversing aspect is even more evident in the playing of Idris Rahman, who gleefully hints at South African township, Indian classical music and klezmer, even if those phrases might only rise up fleetingly from his jazz foundation.

There’s a driving old-time bluesiness to the opening Down to Earth, surging forward with a percussive confidence. Rahman’s solos are decorated by her springy-touch key-runs, as drummer Gene Calderazzo snaps the beats with shifting accents. Pine’s flute breezes through the soft opening of Conversation With Nellie, which is misted with an Indian scent.

Equal attention is paid to pondering and punching, as each piece opens up a fresh mood, sometimes working through one to the other during the same tune. There’s little darkness here, as the composer favours a capering, joyful character. The traditional Butlers of Glen Avenue has Rahman making her Indian harmonium sound like an Irish accordion.

One hand is inside the piano for Outside In, dampening selected strings, starting out sparsely then gaining solidity. The only mournful stretch arrives with Imagination, as Idris switches to bass clarinet, swelling impressionistically before lurching towards a portentous climax. Stevie Wonder’s Contusion closes up the set, with Rahman’s reading enjoying almost exactly the same running time as the original, give or take a few seconds. What does this mean: happenstance or an ingrained familiarity with this ancient folkloric melody?

--Martin Longley

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Well I have been a fan of Zoe Rahman since she first started playing in Courtney Pine's band, and let's hope she stays in that outfit for many years to come...!!!

I would have to say that when I first saw her playing with Courtney, he was doing his best to get the best out of her and was pushing her to the limits of her playing. At times she looked in awe of Courtney, but I would suggest that with this new album under her belt, that Courtney might be in awe of her...

The album takes you on a musical journey into the land that she was born, it's a great melting pot of melodies, and worth the journey with her and the band.

I cannot wait to see her play on Courtney's next album and tour, he has for my money got one of the best Jazz pianist in the World playing for him, and she as a solo artist has a great future ahead.

It can only get better from this album on...
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I had the privilege of stumbling across a live performance of Zoe Rahman and immediately completed my experience by downloading her latest recording which contains much of what I heard. She is technically brilliant and bursting with musical ideas, not only from the jazz tradition, but from Bengali and Irish influences in her family. I shall doubtless build a collection of Zoe Rahman's recordings, and I can't wait to see her live again.
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Zoe Rahman is obviously a very accomplished musician and in this Album she seems to bravely break from the boundaries of easy to achieve free flowing music in regular Time Signatures. Zoe Rahman's Jazz is very beautiful and just challenging enough to listen to, to be a real joy in entertainment. As soon as I can, I will be looking to buy more from this incredible Artist and I believe that she will progress even further in her musical abilities in the future. What a Star!
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Great album.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8bb4c840) out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bb8e018) out of 5 stars Terrific in every way, a true discovery 10 May 2012
By Michael Steinberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Zoe Rahman is English with a Bengali background that she's only recently been exploring. She has a high reputation in the UK but seems to be unknown here. That's a pity for Americans; if you haven't heard her you're missing out. She's a swinging, brilliant, warmly emotional pianist in the McCoy Tyner vein but with a gift for lyricism along with rhythmic lift and light and percussive intensity. This set features four stunning cuts with her brother Idris on clarinet and one charmer with flutist Courtney Pine along with several superb trio numbers. She's comfortable just about anywhere, moving seamlessly among straight-ahead jazz, more abstract pieces, Stevie Wonder, the music of Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, and an Irish folk tune. It's all good. Actually, it's all great, and drummer Gene Calderazzo and (especially) bassist Oli Hayhurst do more than lend support. One of the best recent jazz albums I know of.
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