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Sample Track 1:
"Queen of Sheba" from Trian to Basra and Other Stories
Sample Track 2:
"Kashaniya" from Train to Basra and Other Stories
Layer 2
Album Review

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Midwest Record, Album Review >>

SALAAM/Train to Basra and Other Stories: Growing up in Chicago and of middle eastern descent, Dena El Saffar heard all these stories about the old country and the old days but she never related Iraq to Mesopotamia until she actually went there and found some chord resonating within her. From there, a bunch of modernized Arabian nights kind of music began flowing from her, some of it sounding like soundscapes for Leonard Cohen, some of it more exotic. Certainly not gift shop music or dusty folkloric stuff, this is almost like a modern, ethnic pop record where you can enjoy it no matter how you approach it. It's loaded with the kind of bursting energy you get when a classical trained musician gets a taste of how much fun pop is. A solid set that starts out as a side trip and ends up being much more than a diversion. Hot stuff you won't be hearing in any ethnic restaurants trying to be authentic any time too soon.

 09/22/13 >> go there
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