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Elsaffar, Amir / Alchemy
Album:Alchemy Collection:Jazz
Artist:Elsaffar, Amir Added:02/2014
Label:Pi Recordings 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2014-02-07 Pull Date:2014-04-11 Charts:Jazz
Week Ending:13 Apr6 Apr30 Mar23 Mar16 Mar9 Mar2 Mar23 Feb

 Recent Airplay
1.Feb 12, 2016:Rebop
Ishtarum Suite: Ishtarum
4.Apr 04, 2014:No Cover, No Minimum
Alchemy Suite: Quartal
2.Aug 14, 2015:Rebop
Ishtarum Suite: Ishtarum
5.Mar 28, 2014:No Cover, No Minimum
Alchemy Suite: Five Phases
3.Apr 10, 2014:Rebop
Alchemy Suite: Five Phases
6.Mar 27, 2014:Rebop
Ishtarum Suite: Nid Qablitum, Ishtarum Suite: Ishtarum

Album Review
Reviewed 2014-02-06 
Pi, 2013

AVANT-JAZZ – Trumpeter ElSaffar has made waves in recent years with his fusion of edgy jazz with Middle Eastern forms, especially the Iraqi maqam. For this release he continues to employ microtones and Middle Eastern modes, but in a standard jazz quintet configuration. The result is a less “exotic,” more approachable sound, but still full of challenges for his top-notch bandmates and the discerning listener.

All good. Fo’s Picks: 1, 2, 5, 7, 8

1. 7:48 – relaxed midtempo; rising microtonal trumpet; complex piano break
2. 5:08 – cool-toned modern-jazzy rainy-day feel, nice piano & biting sax
3. 10:56 – moody midtempo: undulating modal melody; middle section has “stuck” rhythmic pattern vs lovely piano, spiky horns in final part
4. 7:07 – all spirals: alternately soft and stony; relaxed trumpet, sax lunges
5. 6:08 – warped jazz stroll with lots and lots of quarter-tones, odd changes
6. 4:44 – calm & open: piano/bass shape the space, horns moan, rise up
7. 8:08 – cool modal jazz groove with fluttering horns, prodding piano; love it.
8. 9:25 – spiky postbop: sax digs into it, trumpet surfs on top, busy bass break
9. 2:59 – restless drums set up exotic, percolating horn/piano interplay
10. 7:32 - tight horns vs rolling rhythm; piano pulls outward, strong bass solo

[ Fo ] - 6 February 2014

Track Listing
1.Ishtarum Suite: Ishtarum 6.Alchemy Suite: Balad
2.Ishtarum Suite: Nid Qablitum 7.Alchemy Suite: Five Phases
3.Ishtarum Suite: Embubum/Ishtarum/Pitum 8.Athar Kurd
4.Alchemy Suite: 12 Cycles 9.Miniature #1
5.Alchemy Suite: Quartal 10.Ending Piece