Title - 'Zajal'
Artist - Dave Soldier
For those not in the know, Dave Soldier’s new project Zajal is a work of music art that features ancient poetry born through stellar players and singers from the Gypsy flamenco, Arabic, klezmer, Iranian, Greek, and jazz worlds.
Produced by Pedro Cortes, the major figure in Gypsy flamenco music in North America, the lyrics are in medieval Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish; from Andalusia and its environs, 900-1400 AD.
This “Golden Age of Hebrew Poetry” and “Golden Age of Arabic Poetry” initiated virtually the entire Western song repertoire, meaning Schubert, the Beatles, Hank Williams, opera and most of the other art and pop music of our world.
1. 'Raqib' (The Spy)
2. 'Ma’an Walnaar' (Water and Fire)
3. 'Ya Za’iri Fid Doha' (My Visitor in the Morning)
4. 'B’Abi' (My Father)
5. 'Bi-moa' (Without Myself)
6. 'The Stars of Country Music Greet the Spring'
7. 'Eretz Sfarad' (Land of Spain)
8. 'No Me Mordaz Habibi' (Don’t Bite Me Baby)
9. 'Krav' (Battle)
10. 'Beautiful Boy'
11. 'Hal-dara Zabyu al-Hima' (If)
The upbeat, rather vibrant hipsway of 'Raqib' (The Spy) begins our mesmeric musical journey and that's followed by both 'Ma’an Walnaar' (Water and Fire) featuring the tonally incredible vocals of Triana Bautista, and then the more stoic 'Ya Za’iri Fid Doha' (My Visitor in the Morning) featuring Maurice Chedid.
The lush beauty of 'B’Abi' (My Father) is next and is followed by the gentle ebb and flow of 'Bi-moa' (Without Myself), and then comes an English-sung version of 'The Stars of Country Music Greet the Spring' (featuring David Castellano).
The rich and textured 'Eretz Sfarad' (Land of Spain) is one of my own favorites here and that's backed by the frenetic, and yet at all times controlled Flamenco guitar work on 'No Me Mordaz Habibi' (Don’t Bite Me Baby).
The sumptuous 'Krav' (Battle) is one that truly showcases and embraces the depth of vocal fullness and reach of the singer, and then the album rounds out with the mid-tempo buoyance of 'Beautiful Boy,' and then comes to close with the stirring resonance of 'Hal-dara Zabyu al-Hima' (If).
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