SoSaLa | Nu World Trash

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World: Middle East Contemporary Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Type: Political
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Nu World Trash

by SoSaLa

In SoSaLa, front-man, saxophonist and vocalist Sohrab Saadat L. blends melancholic melodies with those of his native Iran. Fueled by improvisation, with lo-fi electronics, the diverse instruments make for an ambient and psychedelic take on World music.
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
Release Date: 

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1. Ja-Jou-Ka SoSaLa
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5:45 $0.99
2. Nu Persian Flamenco SoSaLa
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5:54 $0.99
3. Welcome New Iran SoSoLa
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8:45 $0.99
4. Khorasan SoSaLa
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5:20 $0.99
5. Vatan Kojai? SoSaLa
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5:52 $0.99
6. Happy April Fool's Day SoSaLa
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4:56 $0.99
7. NY's Sa-Si-Su-Se-So SoSaLa
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3:20 $0.99
8. Sad Sake SoSaLa
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9. Everyday Blues SoSaLa
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
SoSaLa is a band from New York, led by the sax player Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, who blends melancholic melodies with those of his native Iran. Fueled by improvisation with lo-fi electronics, the diverse Middle Eastern, African and Western instruments, such as fula flute, talking drum, sabar, electric tar, piano, vibes, electric trumpet and guitar, make for an ambient and psychedelic take on World music. Ladjevardi's vocals give a dada-istic touch to social and political issues. Altogether, they call the music "nu world trash". And that gives the title to their debut CD, Nu World Trash.

The musicians are: Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi (sax & vocal), Damon Banks (b), Swiss Chriss (dr), Derek Nievergelt (b), Masamba Diop (talking drum or tama), Mar Gueye (sabar), Alejandro Castellano (g), Kurt Dahlke or Pyrolator (electronics), Satish (electric tr), Sylvain Leroux (fula flute), Piruz Partow (electric tar) and Ladell Mclin (g).
Excecutive producer: Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
Engineer and co-producer: Martin Bisi
Recorded at BC STUDIO (Brooklyn)
Label: DooBeeDoo Rec

This CD, especially the track "Welcome New Iran", is dedicated to the Iranian revolution in Iran which started in June 2009 after the presidential election.


Reviews


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Ancelmo James (DooBeeDooBeeDoo contributor)

Concert review: Concert Review: SoSaLa – A Young Band Whose Sound Still Has Grea
Last Thursday night I made my way across the Williamsburg Bridge to check out SoSaLa – a band lead by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi. The show was interesting for a number of reasons the first of which I shall point out being that the band is comprised of a unique arrangement of instruments. Sohrab, the leader and front man of SoSaLa plays the saxophone accompanied by Michael Wimberly on drums and djembe, Dave Ross on guitar, John Pietaro on vibraphone and Bradely Madsen on trombone, and at times Jeremy Danneman on clarinet as well. As the preceding list indicates, SoSala, is without a bass player. Although this, as I understand is not a stylistic choice, and rather a matter of circumstance, it certainly pushes the band’s sound in a certain direction. To put it bluntly, SoSala is missing out on some low end frequencies. In lieu of no bass player, it appeared as though the trombone player, with the aid of some effects through a mic, was experimenting with some synth-like bass tones.

The band opened with a tune called Sohrab’s Shushtari - a lengthy two chord progression that conjures feelings of mystical nights in the desert or a stroll through a bazaar in Marrakesh. Honestly, the opener to me was so reminiscent of a Grateful Dead jam that I personally was whisked away to Egypt in 1977 when the Dead played the pyramids. I make this association somewhat apprehensively, nonetheless true to my heart, for I know that, despite my immense love for the Grateful Dead, it is not shared by many, especially these days, and even more so in this city.
Read whole concert review here: http://www.doobeedoobeedoo.info/?p=16957

Tahsin Sagisman

Nu World Trash
Music to feel
Music to think
Music to forget
Music to remember

Mustafa Nuri Sakarya (The Daily Dream)

SoSaLa "Nu World Trash"... a melodrama .. an ecstatic truth...
SoSaLa is mythic and primal, yet has a modern, acidic quality. It's fuses jazz with a slow punk, and occasionally shocks with Iranian electrodes. But always, expertly tongue in cheek. His music strikes the right balance of what Werner Herzog calls, "ecstatic truth. It reminds me of that great actor Klaus Kinski. You can't tell if it's serious, but you love it anyway because the melodrama is well executed."

Bill Friskics-Warren (Washington Post, published: March 12, 2012

Quick spins: ‘Nu World Trash’ by SoSaLa
SoSaLa
Nu World Trash
Freedom, as in civil liberties and free jazz, is the word that best captures “Nu World Trash,” the irrepressible debut by SoSaLa, the intercontinental collective led by Iranian saxophonist and activist Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi. Boasting a formidable musical résumé, Ladjevardi has worked with everyone from Malian pop star Salif Keita to Ornette Coleman and Bachir Attar of Morocco’s Master Musicians of Jajouka.

“Ja-Jou-Ka,” the album-opening plea for global unity, blends Middle Eastern tonalities, chanted vocals and bleating avant-garde saxophone reminiscent of “Dogon A.D.,” the groundbreaking 1972 album by World Saxophone Quartet founder Julius Hemphill. “Khorasan,” the only track on the record not composed by Ladjevardi, is built around the wistful interplay between the leader’s probing saxophone and the banjolike electric tar. The song pays loving tribute to Ladjevardi’s favorite province in his homeland.
Hope for a liberated Iran courses through the album’s nine hypnotic tracks, whether in the form of a psychedelic lament such as “Vatan Kojai?” (Farsi for “Where is my country?”) or in “Welcome New Iran.” The latter, a cathartic mix of musique concrete, Persian melodicism and free jazz, climaxes with Ladjevardi shouting, “Alone I am nothing, but together we are winners! Together we are powerful!”

Dadaist humor leavens several tracks, including the skronky, laughter-infected “Happy April Fool’s Day” (Ladjevardi was born April 1) and the set-closing “Everyday Blues,” with its quotidian musings, beatnik patter and squalling bursts of distorted electric guitar. The overall effect, to paraphrase novelist Charles Johnson, is less music than sound alchemized into emotion.

Matt Cole (DooBeeDooBeeDoo contributor)

SoSaLa plays "nu world trash" music
Nu World Trash is the first album by SoSaLa, the latest project of saxophonist Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, formerly of TEHRAN-DAKAR BROTHERS axis. Recorded over the last 3 years in Brooklyn, it features a wide array of musicians, including Alejandro Castellano on guitar, Derek Nievergelt and Damon Banks on bass, Swiss Chris on drums, Kurt Dahlke on electronics, “Indofunk” Satish on the Firebird electric trumpet, Mar Gueye on sabar, Massamba Diop on tama (talking drum), Ladell Mclin on guitar, Piruz Partow on electric tar, and Sylvain Leroux on tamblin (or fula flute). Mr. Ladjevardi plays tenor sax and supplies the voice for the spoken word parts, and wrote most of the music on the album.
Overall, Nu World Trash draws from many traditions; one can hear elements of rock, jazz, Persian music, Jajouka, and other influences as well. Most of the pieces have spoken words as well, passionately supplied by Mr. Ladjevardi. Some of the words are in English, and many are in Farsi; numerous times I found myself wishing that I was fluent in the latter tongue. While such an wide array of styles can sometimes lead to an incoherent whole, this is definitely not the case here.

The album opens with “Ja-Jou-Ka” (a nod to the Jajouka musical tradition of North Africa), which starts out with trumpet and drum. Soon, they are joined in conversation by Sohrab’s saxophone, sounding mostly Persian, with jazzy inflections. Then the song takes on a marching feel in 3, which gets free and stormy over time, but stays communicative. Passionate spoken (almost shouted) words in Farsi and English are added to the mix by Sohrab, and then the march re-emerges, develops a little, slows, and ends while still feeling stormy.

Up next is “Nu Persian Flamenco,” which opens with soulful saxophone over electric tar (a Persian lute-like instrument). Sohrab exclaims, “stand up and let beauty dance!” And the rhythm section enters. The song is soon propelled by a driving bass, with more spoken words on top and tar right underneath; then the saxophone comes in over an insistent rhythm. The song ends with an emphatic “let beauty dance” and a fade.

Song number 3, “Welcome New Iran,” is one of the highlights of the album. It opens with gentle flute and guitar, and Sohrab soon comes in with spoken word over saxophone, with a crowd chanting underneath (the chants are pulled from real videos of Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution, available at http://www.sohrab.info/. Soon a rhythm establishes itself, over which Sohrab chants and sings, with roaring crowd sounds and occasional saxophone commentary. This all evolves into a lovely Iranian melody over a driving, almost Persian-rock fusion rhythm; and then a mix of Green Revolution sounds, spoken syllables, flute, and saxophone commentary before gently coming down. This is a very passionate track, and Sohrab’s strong support and passion for positive change in Iran are expressed very strongly by the entirety of the song.

Up next is “Khorasan,” a traditional Persian piece arranged by our composer. It begins with tar, and then energizes into a rock beat with a Persian-sounding melody. The piece rocks up, while Sohrab shouts homage to Khorasan in English. By this point, the guitarist is sounding almost like avant-banjoist extraordinaire Brandon Seabrook. The piece then slows down, and takes on a marching rhythm with a rocking bass; the rhythm shifts to a funkier beat, and ends with a suitable flourish.

“Vatan Kojai?” begins with slow tar and saxophone, and the word “boums” repeated. A beat starts, and then a spoken, philosophical musing on the early part of the cycle of life. The music gets more intense, the instruments come in one after the other, and we return to the “boums” chant at the end.

Track number 6 is the humorous “April Fool’s Day,” and starts out with some out saxophone-flute interplay, and the chant “You can’t take it seriously!” Repeated over Persian-sounding sax, flute, and drums. The rest of the band comes in, with a rock rhythm in 3, and a layer of spoken words, laughing, and crying over the instruments. The spoken words begin to enunciate contradictions, for example, “Show your beauty! Show your ugliness!” The music gets more chaotic, speeds, up, and ends by melting; appropriate for a song entitled “April Fool’s Day.”

Next, “NY’s Sa-Si-Su-Se-So,” begins with the instruments playing a balkan sound in unison, followed by sax soloing. Spoken Farsi words, with F/X come in on top, and by the time the song ends, the strings have taken the lead.

“Sad Sake” begins with some words that sound like they’re being spoken through a subway station loudspeaker, followed by the emergence of a slow, minor-key Persian melody, augmented by a falsetto voice. Then the drums bring in a complex rhythm, which sounds both duple and triple at the same time, with the saxophone and other winds adding textures. All of a sudden, the instruments drop out, leaving only whispering. Shortly thereafter, the instruments reemerge, with bass notes adding a sparse structure, before the song ends.

The final track, “Everyday Blues,” opens with a jazzy trumpet, and a series of “Every Day…” vocal statements; these are soon joined by an interplay between drums, bluesy/jazzy horns, and funky bass. The “Every Day” spoken variations, and the music and words become increasingly desperate. An electric guitar joins the interplay, and the song ends abruptly on a bluesy riff.

Overall, I found Nu World Trash to be a very compelling and original work. The fusion of very disparate musical traditions always has the potential for muddiness and chaos, but the various elements are brought together very well by the outstanding musicians under the leadership of Mr. Ladjevardi, and the songs themselves are well-written. However, even more notable is the passion and energy which shine through nearly every moment of the album; one can almost feel physically Mr. Ladjevardi’s desire for a just and prosperous new Iran, one which uplifts all of its diverse citizens. You will not hear many albums more interesting or heartfelt than Nu World Trash.
(DooBeeDooBeeDoo review: http://www.doobeedoobeedoo.info/?p=11914)