Unlike some modern recording artist who sings of pseudo-fiction or make-believe, Azhaar expresses herself with grounded experience, full of joy and passion. The music has been beautifully captured for posterity. Taking the above facts into account, Azhaar’s credibility, in terms of ethos and pathos has been validated.
There is no electronic mumbo-jumbo. There are no special effects and certainly no psychedelic ‘whah-whahs’. There is, however, just pure, raw, oozing talent.
I recall first hearing Azhaar, the talented singer, songwriter and violinist perform with Brazilian Latin Jazz group Sirius B on Snowboy’s The Return of The Hi-Hat (2001) album, released on the Ocho record label. Vinyl too! Those were some crazy mad-jazz dance sessions in a hot steamy venue, somewhere in London. Everyone was on the same vibe. It was all about the love for Latin music and each other.
Brazilian Latin Jazz was the bridge of friendship. All we had had to do was cross it and make friends. Azhaar’s music was part of that scene.
Azhaar’s music continues to be inspired by her life journey, with her trusted violin. Very few musicians can master the violin in the traditional context, let alone in modern jazz. Few artists have tried and vanished. However, I have a feeling we will hear more of Azhaar’s talents. This may continue to inspire a whole generation of music lovers and intellects, just as jazz violinist Regina Carter was inspired by Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave.
Azhaar & Global Wave are just amazing! There is some excellent music on this album, and in a gourmet sense, it full of flavour, very tasty and moreish.
Gypsy is full-on introduction to the album with a foot-tapping-shuffle and compelling lyrics. This is a very catchy tune with a great melody. The flute makes this track what it is and adds a vibrant dimension for the listener. This is a killer track.
The title track Original Love was co-produced by Snowboy and has the distinctive deep Brazilian funk groove. The violin adds a lovely accent as does the percussions. The piano and bassline are locked in tight and in full control of this track. The chorus is simple to sing along to. In fact, check out the lyrics on the inside sleeve cover of the CD. I would have liked to hear more from the bass player. Let’s face it; it is an incredible bass riff.
If you are a fan of the samba beats, then Down To Earth may be the one for you. The vocals are warm and crisp riding the ‘one-two’ cowbell and accompanied the ‘3-2 son-clave’ timing. A very energetic tune that had me playing along on congas. I love this groove, although it does come with a warning. “You may break out into an uncontrollable samba dance”.
Popoyo showcases Azhaar’s artistic skill. When I turned the volume up for a full house experience, the hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention just before the bass ‘guaguanco’ infill. The artists featured in this track deliver an AAA performance with seamless segues and a smooth tempo. This track is very radio friendly and must get a feature play on the ‘best’ radio stations.
Songlines opens with a nice intro. The triple beats played in an afro-latin style gives this album the full rounded experience. A brilliant stand-up performance. You sense that you are involved and exposed to 4 -dimensional sounds which should be played loud. Possibly all the way up to volume 11.
For me, this album illustrates one of the most durable structures known to man - the triangle. A catalytic collection forming a ‘ménage-a-trios’ if you will, between the music, listener and artist.
Azhaar Saffar - vocals, violin
Tom Berge - Keyboards
Jacob Myle Tyghe - Bass (Port Erin bassist)
Guillaume Ottaviani - Bass (Author)
Ivan Moreno -Percussion
Paolo Adamo - Drums (Mankala drummer and percussionist)
Snowboy - Percussions
Gareth Lockrane - Flute
Mac Seka - Guitar, Percussion
Tristram Cox - Guitar
Andy Fuller - Percussion
Label: FAR Productions
Distributor: Soul Street Sounds