Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Recording: Avesta Nakhaei's Collective Improvisation

Artist: Avesta Nakhaei's Collective Improvisation

Songs: [two fragments from first section] + [unknown song feat. Soley]*

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), June 17, 2015.

Avesta Nakhaei's Collective Improvisation - [fragment 1 from first section]

Avesta Nakhaei's Collective Improvisation - [fragment 2 from first section]

Avesta Nakhaei's Collective Improvisation feat. Soley - [4th part, 1st piece]

As I've seen before, Avesta Nakhaei's Tranzac gigs are free-flowing affairs, with musicians coming and going throughout the night trying to keep up with Nakhaei's endlessly-inventive piano work. This session started off as a trio, with Nakhaei joined by Anoush Taba'i on clarinet and Michael Kaler on bass — you can hear a couple extracts of this grouping as they find their musical feet. Later on a good chunk of The Holy Gasp dropped by on their way to a gig, and Chris Weatherstone (sax) and Dave Oso and Benjamin Hackman (percussion) were sitting in for the night's final section, where they backed singer Soleyman Vaseghi (popularly known as just Soley).

Soley — a Persian singer of note who has made Toronto his home — sang with the sort of gravitas you can't fake. He performs with a qawwali group nowadays, has a pre-revolutionary popstar past, and released a series of what sound like fairly awesome New Age-tinged albums in the late '80's that you can hear on his website. (Someone should get on doing some re-issues of these.) At any rate, this is the sort of random discovery that can make a quiet night out at The Tranzac into something wholly astonishing.

[Avesta Nakhaei will be painting with an even broader brush at the return of his Meandering Streams of Consciousness project, which brings together improvising musicians with members of the local Persian music scene for large-ensemble improvising action. Check it out on Sunday, July 26th at Array Space.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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