All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

14

Simin Tander: Where Water Travels Home

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
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 as an original contemporary singer.

Tander casts her seductive spell on the opening number, "Yau Tar De Grewan" (A Thread from The Collar), a gorgeous arrangement of one of three Afghan poems sung in pashto. Pianist Jeroen van Vliet, bassist Cord Heineking and drummer Etienne Nillesen provide perfectly weighted support to Tander's emotive delivery on this ode to the birth of love:


"I turned into dew and slept on the morning flower
Tired and weary, I slept in the lap of your sight
Today you took me to the skies with one smile"

Kabul street sounds provide sympathetic background to "De Kor Arman" ("The Desire for Home"), a slow-burning pashto blues tale. Guest musician Alex Simu's softly voiced clarinet brings a yearning quality to this ambiguous love story. On the upbeat "Larsha Nengrahar Ta" ("Go to Nengrahar and Bring me a Black Dress") Tander's voice dances, driven by guest tablaist Niti Ranjan Biswas and Nillesen's rhythmic urgency. The three pashto-sung songs—poetic in origin and in delivery—mark a bold departure for Tander but the emotive depths that she harnesses so convincingly make these among the CD's standout tracks.

Three tracks feature Tander's invented language: on "Behind the Curtain," thumb-piano delicacy contrasts with Tander's powerful chanson-like delivery; on "Little Song" a damped-piano motif and gently pulsing bass waltz with Tander, whose soft plosives and cooing seduce like a lullaby; the quartet-composed "Far" revolves around Tander's konnakol-inspired improvisations as the quartet's smoking intensity threatens to burst into flames. With the exception of "Behind the Curtain" where Van Vliet stretches out, conventional solos are rationed and instead a subtle elasticity in the music's individual and collective contours reigns throughout.

Several tracks feature lyrics by Tander's sister Mina Tander; on "Above The Ground," however, it's Tander's soaring wordless cry during the song's surging finale that hits the gut; "Dark Woods" is a brooding, sensual song of seduction; Van Vliet's hypnotic piano mantra forms the spine of "Traveling On," a melodically and emotively alluring ballad. Elsewhere, "Where Would I Fly to If I Could" shifts episodically between powerful orchestral passages, Tander's simple narrative and her more dramatic improvisations. "Our Silent Storm" is an achingly beautiful ballad that could have come from Leonard Cohen's bluesiest pen, while "La Chanson des Vieux Amants" sees Tander tackles Jacques Briel's bitter-sweet love song with requisite intimacy.

Tander's beguiling voice holds center stage on these haunting songs of love's vicissitudes, but her wonderfully empathetic trio is no less vital a part of the equation. A palpable group chemistry pervades these thirteen tracks, whose considerable charms grow through repeated listens. Poetic, lyrical and uplifting, Where Water Travels Home is a strong contender for vocal album of the year.

Track Listing: Yau Tar De Grewan; Above The Ground; Behind The Curtain; Where Would I Fly To If I Could; Little Song; Far; De Kor Arman; Larsha Nengrahar Ta; Dark Woods; Our Silent Storm; Water; La Chanson Des Vieux Amants; Traveling On.

Personnel: Simin Tander: voice; Jereon Van Vliet: piano, electronics; Cord Heineking: double bass; Etienne Nillesen: drums; Alex Simu: clarinet (7); Niti Ranian Biswas: tabla (8).

Title: Where Water Travels Home | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Jazzhaus Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Becoming

Becoming

Simin Tander
Wagma

Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
  • Wagma by Ian Patterson
  • Wagma by C. Michael Bailey
Read more articles
Where Water Travels Home

Where Water Travels...

Jazzhaus Records
2014

buy
Wagma

Wagma

Neuklang Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Trio / Chinese Jesus" CD/LP/Track Review Trio / Chinese Jesus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Live At The  Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles, 1979" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles,...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Song From No Man's Land" CD/LP/Track Review Song From No Man's Land
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "Heartscape" CD/LP/Track Review Heartscape
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: October 8, 2017