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Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Simin Tander: Daring To Surrender

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Luck, so the saying goes, is ninety per cent hard work, as Simin Tander knows only too well. The Afghan/German singer is currently making international waves with What Was Said (ECM, 2016), a haunting collaboration with Tord Gustavsen, and is enjoying a higher profile than ever before. Whilst an element of luck of the right-time right-place variety helped Tander and Gustavsen's stars align, Tander's elevation to the cover of jazz magazines and to the stages of major international festivals is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander & Jarle Vespestad: What was said

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An exciting new trio sees Tord Gustavsen and Jarle Vespestad combine with German-Afghan singer Simin Tander to submit Norwegian church music to the push and pull of improvisation and the spell of thirteenth century Persian Sufi mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi's poetry. What might seem like an esoteric experiment, in fact follows logical currents. Gustavsen's ensembles have often exhibited folkloric colors, while Tander's unique improvisational idiom on her debut Wagma (Neuklang, 2011) and her Pashto-sung arrangements of Afghan poems on Where ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander & Jarle Vespestad: What was said

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What was said introduces a new trio from Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, featuring German-Afghan vocalist Simin Tander, with the support of longtime collaborator drummer Jarle Vespestad (who has played on all of Gustavsen's previous ECM recordings). The inspiration for the program was the tradition of Norwegian church music, but it is explored in a most untraditional way. The most obvious difference is the polyglot approach to the sung languages. Gustavson's interest in Sufi poetry and enjoyment of the sound of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Simin Tander: Where Water Travels Home

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A typical jazz format perhaps, but the delivery on Simon Tander's second CD is anything but typical. As on her memorable debut Wagma (Neuklang Records, 2011), Tander sings in various languages--English, French--and in her improvised language. Here, however, Tander explores her roots by singing in pashto--her Afghan father's language--with mesmerizing results. On Wagma, Tander already sounded conceptually and musically fairly rounded, but Where Water Travels Home comes across as a more mature and personal work, one that reaffirms Tander's credentials ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Jazz Vocals May

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Simin Tander Where Water Travels Home Jazzhaus 2014 German-Afghani vocalist and composer Simin Tander follows up her well-received debut recording Wagma (Neuklang, 2011). She again prefers the company of her trio: pianist Jeroen van Vliet, who also provides judicious electronic effects; stand- out bassist Cord Heineking; and drummer Etienne Nillesen, with augmentation by Alex Simu on clarinet and Niti Ranjan Biswas on tabla. Polyglot in the extreme, Tander sings in English, French ...

INTERVIEWS

Simin Tander: Softly, As In A Morning Dew

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For many people around the world, the word jazz evokes a singer in a bar, club, restaurant or hotel, reworking the standards of yore. Vocal jazz has such a high profile, relatively speaking, because radio stations and TV stations largely balk at the idea of instrumental music, and, easy listening-as a lot of vocal jazz tends to be-doesn't scare the punters off. Few are the established singers who haven't visited the songs made standards by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Anita ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Simin Tander: Wagma

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Vocal improvisation rarely strays far from scat, so it's something worth celebrating when a voice emerges with a distinct vocabulary. Afghan/German singer/composer Simin Tander is such a voice, and her debut is an intriguing offering of compositions sung in English, Spanish and her own, striking improvisations. Backed by a piano-led jazz trio which is both sympathetically supportive and subtly dynamic, Tander's instantly appealing voice, and uncommon approach to vocal jazz--within a modern jazz quartet setting--makes for compelling listening.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Simin Tander: Wagma

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Simin Tander is a polyglot German-Afghan singer who combines the fierce creativity of Meredith Monk with the jazz savvy of Gretchen Parlato. She has surrounded herself with a like-minded trio that is willing to forge in whatever direction she desires, with music and singing full of wordless howls, purrs, and calls. This is multicultural music with a German edge and the rugged and untamed spirit of Afghanistan. “Becoming" is a composition in English that begins like Thelonious ...


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