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Simin Tander: Wagma

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Becoming"

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 Monk meeting Edith Piaf for an absinthe parfait and a cool glass of Château d'Yquem. There are frank elements of hip-hop sprinkled with Tander's assertive vocalizations. Pianist Jeroen van Vliet echoes John Escreet's angular stance while never losing the swing. Tander's lyrics are of a probing conscience looking for release.

Track Listing: Shadowprint; Becoming; The Windmills of Your Mind; White Hiatus; Obsesión; Wagma; Closed Eyes; Purity; Gallery of Remembrance; River Man.

Personnel: Simin Tander: vocals; Jeroen van Vliet: piano and electronics; Etienne Nillesen: drums; Cord Heineking: bass.

Title: Wagma | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Neuklang Records


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