Magazine article New Internationalist

Inana

Magazine article New Internationalist

Inana

Article excerpt

MUSIC

Inana

by Amir ElSaff ar (Pi Records, Pi 4 7 CD and download)

Inana, the ancient Mesopotamia!! deity of love and war, was not a goddess to be messed with. And Amir ElSaffar, a trumpeter of IraqiAmerican heritage, while pushing all the boundaries, shows a similar veneration for the way two musical cultures can come together.

This is ElSaffar's second album to explore the nodal points between jazz's microtonal possibilities and Middle Eastern maqams (scales). But whereas 2007's Two Rivers was a tentative dip into these waters, Inana is full immersion. ElSaffar's trumpets, vocals and santour (hammer dulcimer) lead, but don't miss some fantastic oud work from Zafer Tawil and spiralling sax melodies from Ole Mathisen - both from the Two Rivers quintet - here too.

The bulk of this album is given over to the 'Inana Suite', a musical journey through various aspects of the legends attached to the goddess. …

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