Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Tarik & Julia Banzi Al-Andalus|
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
amzflmd410 | 01/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the very small sub-genre of Andalousian-era influenced musical ventures, this first mostly instrumental album by Al-Andalous truly stands out. It is in the league of weathered classics like "Encuentros" by Lebrijano and the Orquesta Andalusi de Tanger, or brilliant modern ones such as "Oriental Bass" by Renaud Garcia-Fons.The first notes of the first song "Maitreem" set the tone beautifully. The oud and guitar intertwine gorgeously like the long lost cousins they are, supported by delicate and organic percussions. And then Ranjani Krishnan's magical voice comes in... The two pieces where she sings in Sanskrit - "Maitreem" - or in Tamil - "Thiruvai Pannindh" - are highlights of this album. Her crystal clear yet heart-felt delivery in these foreign and mesmerizing tongues with delicious quarter-tones flourishes allow her to truly shine.But the real driving force behind the beautiful music of Al-Andalous is Tarik Banzi. He wrote or co-wrote all the songs and plays every possible instrument: oud, darbuka, udu, cajon, tablas, bass, guitar, and the list goes on. His masterful command of the oud is prominently featured throughout, most notably on the evocative atmospheric oud solo piece "White Shadows". He also solos brilliantly on darbuka for "Rhythmic Rain". There is no doubt there is a special relationship between him and Julia Banzi. They co-composed or co-arranged most of the songs and her very classical 'flamenco guitar' and his oud interact beautifully.There are some weak moments of course. In their attempt to modernize the andalousian heritage for the struggling piece "Departure", the distorted electric guitar solo was simply bad. I have a strong aversion to cheesy keyboards as in "Illumination" and the admittedly traditional "A la una yo naci" was painfully simplistic in every sense. But these fleeting moments shouldn't keep you from tremendously enjoying the remarkable artistry and vision that permeates most of the album. Songs like "Maitreem", "Thiruvai" and "Martil" have an indisputable intemporal ethereal beauty.Listening to this album is a relaxing, soothing experience. The music flows easily and gracefully like the water that seems to be the main underlying theme. You will be transported to a remote exotic place where very different cultures and long lost cousins come together to create something uniquely beautiful"
Travelling with Soul!
John Phillips | New York | 11/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this album only after I bought their other album "Genetic Memories". I understand now that "Illumination" came out first so it is interestring to see how the group changed. I like to play this album when I drive in the car because it makes me feel like I am going all over the world. When I hear "Maitreem" I can imagine I am in India, then I hear "Jinete" and it takes me to Spain. When "white shadows" comes on I am in Morocco. All on my drive home from work. Mostly though, it relaxes me and touches me somewhere deep inside where I didn't know I could be touched. I really hope I can see the group perform live someday."
Gloria Mahin | Portland, OR | 05/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ranjani Krishnan has the most exquisite voice in Indian classical music that I have ever heard. Her deep voice and skillful mastery are uniquely spellbinding! The musical arrangements are lovely, and the group as a whole maintains tremendous integrity in their intentions as performers, artists, and peace activists. A rare find!"