Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
On Offerings, vocalist Azam Ali and percussionist Greg Ellis take one step beyond the repertoire of Indian-flavored, hymn-like songs created on their widely adored debut CD Sunyata. Again Ali radiantly sings soothing melod... more »
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On Offerings, vocalist Azam Ali and percussionist Greg Ellis take one step beyond the repertoire of Indian-flavored, hymn-like songs created on their widely adored debut CD Sunyata. Again Ali radiantly sings soothing melodies of words in no language other than her own spontaneous emotion. A bit reminiscent of Madredeus's Teresa Salguiero, her tone is melancholic and soulful, but her chanting unrolls a Persian tapestry woven of her hammered dulcimer and Ellis's cadences on tabla, udu, frame drum, zils, and more. Guest artists Steve Stevens (nylon-string guitar), cellist Hans Christian, singer Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and violinist Nabil Azzam deepen the Middle Eastern hues. By the CD's end, listeners will understand why this inspired duo has named themselves the Farsi word for "vessel." --Karen Karleski
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Poetically beautiful, but not an elaborate masterpiece
Kent D. Kelly | Denver, CO USA | 05/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you've been hearing that Vas is the second coming of Dead Can Dance, I'll be gentle - they're not quite that good. But they are excellent! Azam Ali's vocals are sweet, melodious, and pure, and easily transcend 90% of the "ethereal" music out there today. Greg Ellis' percussion is commendable, although his variance is more in his instruments than in his tempo. There is not enough variance to christen this a masterpiece - upon the first few listens, you'll have difficulty distinguishing between songs, which keeps each from having a unique identity. And Azam Ali does not have the range of emotion or inflection you may be hoping for. All in all, this is a fine, beautiful release by a strong up-and-coming ensemble, who will undoubtedly impress us for years to come. Due to the repetitive nature of the music, it doesn't quite live up to all the hype - but it does come close! :)"
I X Key | tomorrow | 03/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd is their most complex I think. The first song, Svarga, moves from very sparse droning & a reticent Persian violin to what is by far the most mind-blowing polyphony I've ever heard, & I have a large polyphony collection. After that the songs are all so beautiful, each with its own thriving soul. Vas is not Dead Can Dance, though. They never will be. The endlessly unravelling vocal harmonies of Azam Ali are a unique marvel. Greg Ellis's adeptness on tabla & other drums is great. The truth is the musical composition is more western than anything else, with worldly instruments & timeless energy. Greg drums with a western rhythmic sensibility. A great western rhythmic sensibility in their modern western music that's so unique in its themes & variations that it feels exotic. From driving, but serene, hammered dulcimer to very sparing, dark, almost ambient music, this cd is most highly recommended."
Oh, my! The Promise and Varuna, how beautiful ye are ?
Lilien | Croatia, Europe | 12/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album can NOT be compared to any musical effort whatsoever. I've seen reviews of this album being compared to many other efforts such as Dead Can Dance, and I yield to this comparison. I have even heard someone mentioning Loreena McKennitt and thought, "absolutely not! Loreena stands on her own as does DCD!" VAS's album titled "Offerings" is ultimately different from the other two recordings. VAS does a "fairly" good job at making each album distinct from the other. I found myself loving "Sunyata" and listening to it periodically, but one morning I woke up and have been going for "Offerings" much more. "Sunyata" is beautiful, but not as unique with its instruments as "Offerings". Azam Ali uses her voice a little less instrumentally this time and uses the music composed by Gregg to do its job, while she stands back. On track 9, called "Wajad" she allows a man by the name of Omar Faruk Tekbilek to take over and unleash his own soul, while she is absent and most probably admiring him. His emotion is much like Azam Ali's own and his voice ageless. What I love about this recording is the lack of lyrics which can be understood. One will never understand her soul. That is what's so admirable of Azam Ali. She has the emotion and integrity of a gentle goddess. Her ways of using her voice as a tool to soothe a listener's soul is brilliant! I cannot say more admirable things about this recording. "Offerings" is a success and should be praised! I am in love with VAS! They are the most eccentric musicians! Goodness, can they make me feel and weep. It feels like pure release from this realm of a world."