2020 CD release.
With their second release, Vancouver oud player Gordon Grdina's middle eastern/avant jazz ensemble is now a quintet with three outstanding string players: illustrious New York improvisers Mark Helias (bass) and Hank Roberts (cello) are joined by Vancouver violinist Josh Zubot; Hamin Honari continues on Persian percussion. Grdina's compositions are mostly based on classical middle eastern traditions but are performed in a creative jazz context where improvised group interplay is as important as solos.
Grdina comments: 'This recording carries on the development of the ensemble from where Ejdeha left off. The group is defining it's own aesthetic, combining aspects of the Persian dastgah and Arabic Maqam systems with free improvisation and harmonic fluidity. The band is dedicated to creating modern music that pays homage to tradition while championing personal expression. The title Safar-e-daroon means 'inner journey.' The group as a whole and each of the individual musicians are searching inward to best express their own experience of life, love and sorrow. We hope this music will help the listener on their own Safar-e-daroon.'
This project extends Grdina's previous fusions involving jazz improvisation and middle eastern music, from his 2006 debut Think Like the Waves to East Van Strings' The Breath of Statues and his 10-piece Arabic band Haram's Her Eyes Illuminate. It also draws to some extent on his more avant jazz and guitar-based New York projects No Difference (featuring Helias), and the recent quartet releases Inroads and Cooper's Park.
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