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Sivan Perwer

Min Bêriya Te Kiriye

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Born in Turkey, Sivan Perwer is a Kurd who's lived overseas for two decades, but still keeps the heart of Kurdish traditional song and music alive. This live album, recorded in 2003 with a superb band -- all Kurds, and brilliant players both technically and imaginatively -- shows how strongly Perwer feels the past, and how good he is as a vocalist. Emotive in performance, he can move easily from aching, sobbing sadness to indignity with ease, and with absolute conviction that carries over into the audience, as he shows with "Helebce" and "Ware Me." While much of the material here revolves around the sad lot of the Kurds, who have been ill-used for far too many years, he does move outside that periodically for some more neutral traditional material, and even a few cuts about romance, instilling a sense of balance to a disc that could easily have sounded like propaganda otherwise. But however it's presented, there's no doubt about the power of his voice, or of the quality of the backing.

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