291

Jonas Hellborg: Aram Of The Two Rivers: Live In Syria

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Jonas Hellborg: Aram Of The Two Rivers: Live In Syria Swedish bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg recorded these two sessions in September 1996. Hand drums and tambourine back the Middle Eastern melodies; all were composed by Hellborg. Ney player Mased Sri al Deen joins the bass guitarist on the first three tracks; violinist Hadi Backdonas appears on the last three. Blending classical guitar, jazz, and world music in his live performances, Hellborg has created suites that flow evenly from one movement to the next. The riqq is a percussion instrument similar to the tambourine, while the two derbukas are small pot-like hand drums; here, they easily assume the role of bongos, congas, or bass drum. The ney is an end-blown flute; fluid and sensual like a Japanese shakuhachi, but lighter in sound quality.

Hellborg’s suites rely on polyrhythms and modal harmonic structures to maintain a Middle Eastern mood. Several movements contain dance-like rhythms; some use a duple meter and a few use the waltz-like triple meter. "Aram of Damascus" and "Sham" feature flute and classical guitar sounds at a moderate tempo, while "Akkadia 11" runs up-tempo with a funky electric bass beat. With his versatile bass guitar, Hellborg is able to pluck firmly and deliberately in the manner of a flamenco guitarist, or tap out streams of funk-driven syncopation in the manner of a television or movie soundtrack artist. "Aram of Zoba," up-tempo in a Middle Eastern dance style, introduces Backdonas’ electric violin. Another versatile instrument, the electric violin allows Backdonas to wail in a vocal manner with wah-wah effects at times, and gentle melodies with echo, at other times. Compared to an acoustic model, Backdonas’ instrument seems to maintain all elements of technique while sacrificing some of the expected round, resonant violin timbre. Like a bolero, "Suriya" closes the performance with a percussion riff behind bass guitar and violin melodies. The performances are pleasant and interesting, while drawing upon the ethnic styles found in several cultures.


Track Listing: Aram of Damascus; Sham; Akkadia 11; Aram of Zoba; Salah al Din; Suriya.

Personnel: Jonas Hellborg- bass guitar; Mased Sri al Deen

Title: Aram Of The Two Rivers: Live In Syria | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Bardo Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Blues, Preludes and Feuds" CD/LP/Track Review Blues, Preludes and Feuds
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!