Posts Tagged ‘Amir Elsaffar’

Amir Elsaffar’s Rivers of Sound

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Rivers of Sound is a large ensemble of instrumentalists from Western and Middle Eastern traditions, exploring the confluences of a musical language that transcends notions of tradition and style. In performing Not Two, an original composition by Amir ElSaffar, each musician interacts with the group through both improvised and composed material to create a novel composite sound.

Composer, trumpeter, santur player and vocalist, Amir ElSaffar, an expert in Jazz and Iraqi maqam, has forged his novel approach to combining musical languages through his six-piece ensemble Two Rivers. Over the past eight years, the group has released three CD’s on Pi Recordings. Crisis, the most recent, was a Newport Jazz Festival commission. Jazz critic of the The Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich, declared Crisis “one of the most beautiful and evocative jazz recordings of the year.” A reviewer for The Wire, stated that “ElSaffar is uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm…the result of engagement across the board, presented with clarity and eloquence.”

Rivers of Sound: Not Two is a continuation of the Two Rivers concept, but projected onto a wider canvas unprecedented in scope and imagination.  Microtonal maqam melodies traverse a richly-textured bed of sound created by oud, buzuk, and santur, in combination with cello, violin, saxophones, English horn and trumpet. Also at play are multilayered, rhythmic patterns and harmonies performed by re-tuned vibraphone, piano and guitar. The drum set, mridangam, dumbek, frame drums and double-bass provide the rhythmic foundation and subdivisions of the multiple currents. Resonance across rhythmic, tonal, and timbral spectra, and across musical traditions, is the guiding principle.

ElSaffar’s music is at once unique and engaging, full of heart and passion. Challenging notions of composition vs. improvisation, tradition vs. modernity, microtonality/modality vs. harmony, his compositions bring to light the universality of music across cultures. Given the catastrophes befalling the people of the Middle Eastern and Arab lands, his music is both timely and urgent as he is preserving elements of these cultures by bringing them into context with contemporary musical forms.


Flutist/Composer JAMIE BAUM Inspired by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Travels in South Asia, Releases “IN THIS LIFE” (Sunnyside) Oct 8, 2013

Friday, August 9th, 2013

1363DigipakFlutist-Composer Jamie Baum Explores Her Passion For Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Informed By Her Travels in South Asia, Revealing Her Most Inspired Work To Date

In This Life
Out October 8, 2013
via Sunnyside Records



Featuring Her New Septet+ With
Amir ElSaffar, Taylor Haskins, Douglas Yates,
Chris Komer, John Escreet, Zach Lober, Jeff Hirshfield,
Dan Weiss, Samuel Torres

Long an experimenter in new chamber jazz textures and milieus, New York-based flutist/composer Jamie Baum accomplishes her biggest artistic and compositional breakthrough with the stellar In This Life, inspired by the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and inspired by her travels in South Asia.

Baum’s musical imagination and skills are not limited by her origins or circumstances – instead, they are enriched by her experiences. They help her realize In This Life, a suite of pieces for her newly mintedSeptet+ (an evolution of the longstanding and renowned Jamie Baum Septet). The recording is exciting, beguiling, memorable, warm, virtuosic and multi-layered. It is one of those treasured recordings that pulls you in, revealing more and more depth with each subsequent hearing.


Friday June 19: Two Excellent Client Events in New York City

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Vijay Iyer (photo credit: Christopher Drukker)
Vijay Iyer (photo credit: Christopher Drukker)

Friday, June 19 – 8pm (doors 7:30)
VIJAY IYER TRIO performing at Harlem’s Temple M
Vijay Iyer, piano
Stephan Crump, bass
Marcus Gilmore, drums

555 West 141st Street (East of Broadway)
New York, NY 10031
Subways: 1 train to 137 & Broadway (City College) or A/B/C/D to 145 & St-Nicholas


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