Introducing Dozan (World Music Network INTRO112CD, 2008)
Music from Jordan is something I don’t have a lot of. In fact, I’m almost certain I don’t have any. So while this CD is a very welcome addition, I couldn’t say if it’s typical of what Jordanians are listening to nowadays. But if it is or if it isn’t, I want to hear more. An acoustic outfit built around oud, cello, violin, percussion and voices, Dozan’s sound leans toward the meditative. It’s not as familiarly zesty as some Middle Eastern music, instead having a delicate intimacy that’s very nice indeed.
Arab folk motifs are a definite source here, while the group’s use of vocal harmony rather than the monophonic singing typical to the region brings an intriguing dimension to songs that are mostly traditional and re-rendered with good results. Male and female voices weave almost ghostly patterns throughout sparse but sometimes tightly wound arrangements, often singing solo passages before combining to fill the space between the notes with longing tones that suggest the mystical influence of Sufism as well as a desire to preserve folk culture in these modern times.
Dozan (whose members hail not only from Jordan but Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as well) maintains an easygoing feel throughout, flowing unpretentiously from melancholy airs to joyful tunes like an ensemble who would sound as at home in a café or a living room as in a concert hall. Recommended.
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