On their new album, the Persian-inspired trio formed by lead singer Azam Ali, multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian and electronic musician Carmen Rizzo sought inspiration from the current turmoil in the Middle East. Their third album, “Sumud” translates from the Arabic as “Steadfastness.”
The music carries their signature sound—a blend of traditional Middle Eastern instruments with Rizzo’s electronic textures that serve as a canvas for Ali’s heartfelt, often mournful vocals. The music is accessible even to those who have no clue of what the words are saying.
Among the highlights is “Mazaar,” a tune that is an ode to the holy city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. Oscar winner A. H. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”) sings with Ali—a collaboration that was born when the Indian composer performed a few shows with them, and things evolved in the studio later on. The song’s emphasis is on percussion, which marks with poignancy the harsh reality of that war-torn region. (Ernest Barteldes)
(Six Degrees Records)