I’ve seen many unusal artist pairings in my life: Ornette Coleman with Moroccan trance musicians, Willie Nelson’s reggae album, German trumpeter Volker Goetze’s gorgeous Amanké Dionte album with Senegalese kora virtuoso Ablaye Sissoko. Not to mention Peter Gabriel’s pioneering work with Djivan Gasparyan, David Byrne and Brian Eno’s brilliant My Life in the Bush of Ghosts 1982 album, and Paul Simon’s genius with South African and Brazilian musicians.
The latest album of this ilk is Mahsa Vahdat, a contemporary Iranian singer, and veteran blues singer Mighty Sam McClain. It’s an album of love songs called Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations. In it one finds songs of love, passion, and yearning, love divine and earthly desire. The poetry is by Norwegian poet Erik Hillestad and by Iranian poet and painter Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari. Musical compositions are by Norwegians Sigvart Dagsland, Knut Reiersrud,and Jarle Bernhoft. It’s an international collaboration, proving once again that music brings all people together. It’s a universal expression of our desires and dreams. For their part, Vahdat and McClain met during the taping of Hillstad’s inspired cd of a few years ago, Lullabies from the Axis of Evil (2003).
Here is a youtube video of a beautiful song that ends the album, “Silent Song”
They will perform together in LA at the Skirball Cultural Center on November 8th: http://www.skirball.org/programs/music/vahdat-mcclain