Various Artists

Bukhara: Musical Crossroads of Asia

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This recording features various works and performers from the area around Bukhara, which is located west of Samarkand and is one of the more important and ancient cities of Uzbekistan. The music is similar to much from the surrounding regions (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan), with relatively simple instrumental portions and wailing, crying vocals. And, as the title would suggest, there are influences to be heard in this music from the various surrounding musical traditions as well. Jewish music and cantorial work, Islamic music, Hindu-based music, and what may be a stray work of the Zoroastrian tradition are all represented. It's a very mixed bag topically, and musically there is a thorough mix as well. Worth a listen for the recording quality (one would expect no less from the Smithsonian Folkways folks) and as a stepping stone into further, more specialized albums.

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