Rosapaeda: Mater (Dunya)
buy CD/hear samples
about uncategorizable music! Rosapaeda used to head a reggae
band called Different Stylee. Now on her third CD under
her own name, she delves into a variety of Mediterranean
styles, and some distinctly non-Mediterranean ones, including
some reggae holdover and two fairly convincing dance remixes.
Her arrangements make prominent use of Indian and Middle
Eastern instruments (tabla, darbuka, bendir, tar) that
give the music a global feel, even as the songs are rooted
in Italian folk, including some traditional tunes and a
couple of children's rhymes.
of a slightly more pop version of Savina Yannatou, or perhaps
Fiamma Fumana with
some of the electronics stripped away. And along with
the engaging musical arrangements, one very powerful voice.
I haven't heard either of her previous albums, though
before. And I know I like it now.
Hakim: Sunrise (self-released)
Ashraf Hakim is an Egyptian cellist now based
in the Seattle area. He's done the classical thing, playing
with the Cairo Opera House, the Arabic Symphony Orchestra,
and the Egyptian National Cultural Theater. He was born in
Cairo to a French-Turkish mother and Egyptian father, and
from his multicultural roots he's followed a path to multicultural
I first caught up to him a couple years ago
when he was playing with the world-fusion band Hejira. Now
more solo gigs regionally, and I recently ran into him
at a booking conference where he handed me a copy of
jaw-dropping abilities are on display throughout this CD,
even though some of the
song selections on it are
chosen for their familiarity more than their cohesiveness
in building an album with a theme. The CD includes, for
example, Beethoven's 9th (almost 10 minutes long - see
the jazz standard "Misty," the iconic "Asho's
Tango," and Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." Really,
he's simply showing off his range and ability.
Hakim is not all technique and no heart. I caught him jamming
with a conga player and a pan steel
player, an odd but fascinating trio (see photo)
that, against all odds, worked. It worked primarily because
all three were
listening so intently to each other -- a mark of great musicians.
Hakim is definitely an artist to watch, for both his remarkable
ability and his musical curiosity, which may lead him deeper
into the territory of new globalized music.
Shin: Many Timer
to be confused with The Shins, the group The Shin is a
trio of Georgians living in Germany. "Shin" is
Georgian for "The Way Home," though it's not a
strictly traditional path they take to get there.
Zaza Miminoshvili (guitars, panduri), Zurab
J. Gagnidze (electric and acoustic bass, vocals), and Mamuka
percussion) are stellar musicians who play the way stellar
musicians do: with confidence and daring. They take bits
of Georgian vocal polyphonies and traditional instruments
and mix them up with jazz and long guitar jams and other
music is desperately difficult to categorize, but easy
to enjoy whether you're coming at it from a world
angle or a prog-rock background. Honestly, it's that
interesting. Check out their sounds at myspace.com/shinthe
Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media