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Separate Worlds

Merge/Nima Rezai – Separate Worlds

 
On Separate Worlds, Stick player-composer Nima Rezai leads a talented crew of San Francisco musicians through a compelling hybrid of world music rhythms and motifs with driving, tightly crafted instrumentals that draw from the spirit of ‘70s progressive rock and early fusion music. Think Yes meets Mahavishnu somewhere in the Middle East. This amalgam of styles is most effectively realized on the extended suite “To Be Free,��? featuring guest Ali Shayesteh on sax and bouzouki, on the dynamic “Driven,��? a nine-minute odd-metered vehicle for Rezai’s Stick synth and Dan Heflin’s passionate tenor sax work, and the dynamic “Kurdish Dance.��? Fueling the session with polyrhythmic aplomb is percussionist-drummer Brad Ranola, who provides the who provides the powerful backbeats and crisp fills that underscore each track. . Seven-string violinist Jesus Florida, flutist Masaru Koga, tabla player Alex Postelnek and Randy Graves on didjeridu and guitar all enhance the proceedings with colors and textures that help ignite these scintillating grooves. The bits of notey virtuosity heard throughout this eclectic outing are interspersed with pleasing melodies (“Moon Struck,��? “Reng��?) and meditative soundscapes (“Once Loved,��? “Never More��?). Highly recommended. — Bill Milkowski

 

Separate Worlds

Separate Worlds

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