Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

Hossein Alizadeh & Djivan Gasparyan

By Tom Orr
Published March 13, 2007

Endless Vision
World Village 468047

Fans of G.W. Bush ought to steer clear, since this album was recorded live in that “axis of evil” metropolis of Tehran. Less fear-motivated people interested in hearing a wonderfully realized fusion of Armenian and Persian music, though, should take note. Hossein Alizadeh is a master of the Iranian shurangiz lute, and Djivan Gasparyan likewise proves his virtuosity on the Armenian double reed duduk. Joined by additional shurangiz and duduk players as well as oud, Arabic percussion and penetratingly gorgeous male and female vocals, they launch into a selection of music celebrating cross-cultural connections between Persia and Armenia that are too complex to recount here, but come across with crystal clarity as the disc progresses. Improvisations, poems set to music and both solo and ensemble passages flow forth, spine-tingling in their beauty, combining precision and inspiration amid moods ranging from delicately graceful to blazingly powerful. An hour of pure, spellbinding sonic ecstasy.