Amir Koushkani


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No one's going to mistake Quest for contemporary Iranian/Persian pop, which uses a lot of electric instruments and is heavily influenced by American and European pop. Amir Koushkani is essentially a traditionalist, and he is a virtuoso on the tar, a Persian lute that is related to the sitar (which Koushkani has also studied but doesn't play on this CD), the Arabic oud, and the Turkish saz. But while traditional Iranian/Persian music (also known as "Persian classical music" and "Persian art music") is Koushkani's foundation, it would be inaccurate to describe Quest as the work of a hardcore purist. Forming a duet with daf drummer Houman Pourmehdi (b. 1965, Tehran, Iran), Koushkani brings elements of traditional Indian music and even Spanish flamenco to his Persian/Iranian setting. The end result is a very fresh-sounding and rewarding take on a musical idiom that has been around for centuries.

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