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Queen's Dominion CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, August 22, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: CD Baby
  • ASIN: B0002IQIS8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jan P. Dennis on November 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Brooklyn born Basya Schechter, leader of the stellar Jewish roots world jazz band Pharaoh's Daughter, here delivers an all-instrumental album of great depth and spirituality. An oud player of uncommon accomplishment, she seems to have a natural affinity for this odd instrument's timbral universe, one which evokes sounds similar to those one associates with a lute, a bouzouki, a sarod, even a berimbau. It's an earthy, emotionally laden sound, one that wafts and slithers off desert sands like the cool even breeze that presages a precipitous nighttime temperature drop in arid landscapes.

One of the keys in making this music come alive is the playing of Alan Kushan on santur, an instrument that sounds like a cross between a zither, a koto, and a prepared piano, lending the aural palette a very oriental cast. Kushan makes this awkward instrument dance and sing with a deeply delved authority and weight. Also contributing mightily is percussionist Jerrod Cagwin, a player whom I've only encountered once before (and I just can't seem to pull up the context, although I remember him being a player of significance), but who here consistently establishes very evocative percussive underpinnings. And Meg Okura shines on violin. Add the coloration of recorder, trumpet, melodica, and cello, and you've got a wide and engaging sound canvas.

Rather simple sounding on the first couple listens, closer attending begins to reveal music of profound nuance and subtlety. There's also a kind of mesmeric, dronelike quality to this music that conjures up feelings of wisdom and tranquility achieved through great suffering. Certainly worth checking out by anyone at all attracted to mystical music of the Middle East.
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Format: Audio CD
I had the priviledge to hear this music live and found it mesmerizing and challenging. Since I've bought the CD, and listened to it a number of times, the music has really grown on me. I think that it's terribly original but there are some beautiful repeated melodies that unify the albumn and remind me of early 20th century French composition, but then we get arabic rhythms and lots of other stuff without sounding too eclectic, at least to my ears. I've never heard anything like this, especially since there are influences from the Far East as well as Middle East and European. While the santur and oud are the central instruments, Basya draws upon the many talents of her classically trained musicians including Meg Okura (violin) and Daphna Mor (recorder). This is probably ideal music for taking your mind out of the present, if that's where you'd like to go.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I'm delighted to discover this treasure as I dig through the rubble at Amazon and I'm so grateful for women of conscience like Basya. This collection is full of her love for melodies that tell a story and the dances between different voices of strings, recorder and rhythms that challenge our dumbed down addiction to everything 4/4. By Way of Haran, has me voyaging into deep states of prayer for the peace of all beings and dancing in my garden. I feel blessed by this music and you will too.
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The music is quite beautiful, however I have two complaints: 1) at times the percussion is too distracting, 2) it gets rather boring by the end; however it is perfect for my "Jewish" and "Multi-cultural instrumental" playlists, where it is refreshingly mixed with songs from other albums.
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