Mehdi Rajabian – Middle East (Sony Music, 2019)
Middle Eastern is the latest album from Iranian multi-instrumentalist and composer Mehdi Rajabian. The album is dedicated to the rich musical traditions of the Middle East and focuses on various countries within the region. Mehdi Rajabian brings together classical forms from the Turkish, Persian and Arabic traditions, together with traditional music elements and western classical influences.
Middle Eastern is an exceptionally good, masterfully-constructed work featuring master instrumentalists using traditional instruments as well as piano and electric bass, along with superb arrangements and majestic cinematic passages.
Mehdi Rajabian invited a hundred musicians from twelve countries in the Middle East. Ironically, the album is not available in Iran due to the restrictions Rajabian is facing. He was imprisoned due to his musical activities. Some of the musicians who participated in the album were refugees fleeing from war or under other forms of stress.
Mehdi Rajabian appears on the album representing Iran. Guests include Arslan Hazreti (Turkey & Syria); Elnur Mikayilov (Azerbaijan & Turkey); Yousuf Alluwaihi (Oman), Tahira Jamal Albalushi (Oman); Alfares (Yemen); Wasim Qassis (Iraq & Palestine); Basem Hawwar (Palestine); Sakhnini Brothers (Palestine); Yarub Smarait (Jordan); Mohamed Saed (Egypt); Hussain Alhaddad (Bahrain); Ali Alolaiwi (Bahrain); and Omar Teymoorov (Tajikistan).
The cover of the album is a photo by Reza Deghati shot in Iraq.
Buy Middle East