In a Far Away Land

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Aladdin advised retailers to file In A Far Away Land under new age, but truth be told, the music on this CD isn't new age--it's pop-flavored jazz that has a lot more in common with Gato Barbieri or Grover Washington, Jr. than with Kitaro, Yanni or Suzanne Ciani. In A Far Away Land won't appeal to bop's hardcore--it's too pop-influenced, too sleek and too lush. But lushness doesn't necessarily mean elevator muzak, and introspective pieces like "Sunset," "Moondance" (not to be confused with the Van Morrison favorite) and "The Crossing" (all of which combine pop-jazz with Middle Eastern elements) strive for substance and creativity as well as commercial appeal. Although not as strong as Farzin's next album, My World, would be, this is a satisfying effort that could honestly be described as "smooth jazz with a difference."

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