CD Review – Project Masnavi

Project Masnavi
Eishan Ensemble
Earshift Music EAR050


Written by Barry O’Sullivan

Eishan Ensemble’s latest recording is a perfect example of successful jazz fusion. Inspired from the works of Sufism the music embellishes the group’s signature blend of Persian classical and Western jazz improvisation, allowing ample room for all of the players to express themselves. Band leader Hamed Sadeghi delivers a performance of considerable virtuosity on the tar and the band’s ever-evolving lineup is enhanced with the addition of Marcello Mao on piano accordion, bestowing yet another sonic dimension. Sadeghi’s compositions have the air of someone with a deep knowledge of Persian musical history committed to the past, present and future.

All musicians colour their inventive excursions with a Middle Eastern flavour, lending both mystery, definition and flair and on a favourite track, Shiraz, you can almost feel the sand under your toes or in your fingers drawing one into a magical place like in a dream. The ensemble’s individual musicianship and improvisational skills and the way everyone plays together, sure sound like jazz at most times, but Sadeghi’s compositions string together unique instrumental combinations and textures that can also sound quite different from jazz – especially on Lost In Flight. It is indeed a fascinating musical journey and highly recommended.

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