The Sudan is a place in which singers and instrumentalists are known for their very organic mixture of Middle Eastern and African elements. This is true of a contemporary Sudanese pop singer like the jazz-influenced Rasha, and it is also true of a Sudanese traditionalist such as Mustafa al Sunni. Although al Sunni wasn't born until 1964 and was only in his early 30s when Songs of the Sudan was recorded in 1997, this CD contains none of the electric pop sounds of his generation. Very traditional in its outlook, Songs of the Sudan finds the charismatic singer/oud player forming a duo with percussionist Abd al Hafiz Karar and sticking to an acoustic setting. Lovers of Middle Eastern music will instantly recognize the string instrument that al Sunni plays as the oud, an Arabic lute…
Seventh Truth is the fourth album released by Azeri jazz artist Aziza Mustafa Zadeh. It caused a good deal of controversy when it was released in 1996 because of the visually revealing cover art. Aziza was delighted to hear that the art had caused such a stir. "It means people are starting to wake up a bit. I'm so glad. Actually, I find it amusing! Why all the fuss? Maybe some women are jealous, or maybe they're too fat to appear like that themselves. Or maybe they're deaf and can't really comprehend what's going on in the music." She said that she made the cover that way because it fits the sensual mood of the music. Around 2.000.000 copies was sold worldwide. Album was particularly successful in North America and in Japan.
Shamans is the seventh album released by Azeri jazz artist Aziza Mustafa Zadeh. It was released in 2002. In the liner notes, Aziza left a comment about each song. The artwork also contains a number of paintings by Aziza. Around 2.000.000 copies of this album were sold worldwide.
Pianist Aziz Mustafa Zadeh, a native of Baku in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, is quite impressive on her American debut. This solo set finds her influenced by Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett to a certain extent but also infusing the music with her heritage. The scales she often utilizes are clearly from the Near East yet her improvisational skills show that the 23-year old has long loved jazz. She takes three vocals (two of which feature rapid and exotic scatting) that display a wide range and an appealing voice. Zadeh performs fifteen diverse originals and the virtuosic pianist clearly has the potential to be a major force in jazz.
The Azerbaijan pianist Aziza's Dance of Fire – her second American record – combines be-bop-derived jazz with elements Russian folk music. Supported by Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola, and Bill Evans, Aziza's playing is graceful and fluid, eclipsing her super-star backup musicians.