The Wire - 6/00, p.64
"...Continues the duo's graceful blending of Persian and North Indian musical styles....a finely crafted and evocative fusion of adjacent traditions."
CMJ - 3/6/00, p.34
"...Heady improvisations...the duo weaves musical ideas into something rapturous."
Personnel includes: Kayhan Kalhor (Persian fiddle); Shujaat Khan (sitar).
Personnel: Shujaat Khan (vocals, sitar); Kayhan Kalhor (kamancha); Swapan Chaudhuri (tabla); Gilad (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Ramin Zamani; Kayhan Kalhor.
Recording information: Sorcerer Sound, NY.
Photographer: Ian Tong.
The third release from traditional fusionists Ghazal, combining Persian and Indian musics, which are closely related but highly differ in their own ways. Kayhan Kalhour is a virtuoso on the kemantche, as is Shujaat Khan on the sitar. Together they are able to make stunning runs through the combined sounds of the two traditions. The opening number, "Fire in My Heart," allows for a nice run of call and response between the two instruments, with Kalhour switching over to plucking the kemantche for a bit as well. Eventually, the two players combine to create a texture of sound that swirls around the backing tabla and tamburas at top speed. The interplay between the two stringed instruments is outstanding here, as is the accompaniment by Swapan Chaudhuri on tabla. In the second number, the duo opts for a light dhun, powered largely by the lighter tones on both the kemantche and the sitar's more carefree twang. In the third number, Khan breaks out of his usual Urdu singing and into Persian for a relatively long composition about the nay. Rather surprisingly, the nay isn't utilized at all in the song to its tribute. Instead, the kemantche mimics its sound to the best of its ability. Also, the tombak is added to the ensemble to add an additional bit of Persian flavor to the sound. The Indian and Persian traditions are closely tied, both historically and in their mutual strife to re-create the perfection of the human voice. Here the traditions are joined to wonderful effect. Pick it up for a nice fusion of two virtuoso instrumentalists performing in largely traditional manners, a rarity for fusionists it would seem. Moreover, pick it up as a generally enjoyable album for newcomers and the initiated alike. ~ Adam Greenberg