Zade Dirani's sophomore effort, Roads to You, marks him as the emerging prince of world music. The follow-up to his 2004 self-titled record features 11 lush tracks, with influences as inclusive as the multinational musicians who created them. Featuring the Prague Philharmonic, Latin American percussionists, Spanish guitar players, and of coarse a host of Middle Eastern musicians, the credit list reads like a musical United Nations. From the evocative "Tango" to the flamenco-tinged "Roads to You," from the bright Arabic-flavored "Yasmeen and I" to salsa track "Canto Para Celebrarte," Zade's hunger for diverse dishes on his musical table seems to know no bounds. Though quite comfortable in a variety of styles, Dirani's interpretation of the Arabic material is particularly delicious. His Jordanian upbringing when combined with his Western musical training at the renowned Berklee College of Music creates a rich mix of influences, a deep cultural heritage bolstered by a wealth of knowledge. The true gems of the record tend to be the instrumental performances, rather than those featuring vocalists. It is clear that Dirani's mastery is over the instrumental world. This independently released record is sonically warm and inviting, gracefully synthesizing contemporary electronic influences with acoustic performances. Melodically enchanting and enigmatic, Roads to You shows immense promise for the future of this young, vibrant talent.
Roads to You Review
by Evan C. Gutierrez