Review / Description
Souren Baronian and Mal Stein, 2011
Souren Baronian is a multi-instrumentalist reed player and percussionist, whose main wind instruments are the G-clarinet and Saxophone as well as many traditional flutes, including the duduk and kaval. He is also a highly sought after music teacher who has taught the dumbek, tambourine/riq and Reeds at music camps and privately. Long well known among the cognoscenti in the Middle Eastern music, jazz and folk dance communities, Souren has collaborated, performed and/or recorded with countless renowned musicians, including, to mention only a small handful: Phil Woods, Joe Beck, Paul Motian, Don Cherry, Arnie Lawrence, Steve Gadd, Armen Donelian, Paul Winter and Carla Bley on the jazz side; Josh Grobam and Paul Simon on the pop side; and the giants Oudi Hrant, Mustafa Kandirali, Kadri Sencalar, Ahmet Yatman, Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Tasos Halkias on the “Mediterranean” side of the equation (i.e. in Armenian, Turkish, Greek, Balkan and Middle Eastern styles).
Souren has been deeply rooted in both Middle Eastern/Balkan idioms and jazz since his early teens, and may have been the first to create a “fusion” of two genres in the late 1950s, long before, “world music” swept the globe. His subsequent work with Taksim from the mid 1970s to the present represents the most sophisticated, compelling, authentic synthesis of these two musical universes to date. Souren continues to travel much of the year to play and teach on several continents in a wide range of settings. As is obvious from this masterful recording, he is going stronger than ever.
Mal Stein is a drummer/percussionist/composer who has played with a wide array of musicians and bands in many genres (jazz, folk, rock, R&B, “world music,” Balkan, Middle Eastern, etc.) and has written music used in a broad range of settings, including for the Joffrey Ballet and for a number of dancers working in the Modem, Jazz and Middle Eastern idioms. The musical artists he has worked with include: Cyrille Aimee and The Surreal Band, Katerina Polemi, John Hodian & Bet Williams’ Epiphany Project, Marc Von Em, Mad Juana, Tom Kennedy and Arnie Lawrence.
Mal has also collaborated with Souren Baronian as the drummer for the groundbreaking Middle Eastern/Jazz “fusion” band Taksim for some 25 years.
(To reach Mal or to sign up on his e-mail list to receive notification about where he is playing: Maldrums@Aol.com).
This totally unique, soulful exploration draws from some of the world’s most sophisticated musical idioms to inspire, soothe and stimulate. Whether you are a musical connoisseur, yoga practitioner, meditator, dreamer or dancer, these sounds are for you.