This percussionist is greatly in demand as an accompanist in traditional art music from Iran known as dastgah. It is a thrilling job for a drummer, since this modally based music is similar to the Indian raga not only in their use on systems of scales and modes to form the compositions, but in the build-up of rhythmic speed and intensity. Performances of a dastgah piece inevitably end in a near frenzy of instrumental virtuosity, the melodic instruments firing phrases back and forth at the drummers as if competing in a linguistics match. As far as artillery goes, Ali Fatemi and his brethren come well-prepared, since the dombak or tombak, to mention just two of many names for this basic drum design concept, is both loud and flexible of tone. Fatemi has taken part in some excellent recordings of Iranian music, and also got in on the gravy train of pop artists looking for authentic world music backup when songstress Luka Bloom combined him with some Irish musicians, among others, for one of her recording projects.
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