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World Music CD Reviews New Age & Avant Garde

FARZAD

By STACY MEYN
Published April 7, 2006

Mirror Of Emotions
Amity

Six-year-old Farzad Khozein began learning the violin from his uncle, a renowned Iranian kamáncheh (small Persian cello) player and violinist. After a relative was executed by the Ayatollah Khomeini, Farzad and family fled to North America. Farzad added to his training by studying classical, jazz and new age styles, especially enamored by Latin music during a stint as concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the main message of Farzad’s music is unity among his natives. On his earnest and aptly titled Mirror Of Emotions, he addresses searching, discussion, understanding and, above all, love. There is an undercurrent of contemporary jazz, but you’ll find yourself paying more attention to Farzad’s fairly hypnotic performances, which escape the expected blandness factor. He deftly tackles a modified Persian folk melody and three Latin tunes amid the mix. Farzad also plays piano (his composing instrument) and keyboards, joined by album producer and major session cat Louie Shelton (Barbra Streisand, Marvin Gaye, Neil Diamond), who plays acoustic and electric guitars. Bassist Craig Nelson and drummer Tommy Wells round out the group.