Nawal | Aman

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World: African World: World Traditions Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Nawal

\"Aman\" (Peace of the Soul) is Nawal\'s second album. A unique blend of Comoros tradition, Sufi spirituality, contemporary song-writing and more. Nawal’s music mixes traditional and sacred rhythms and melodies from the diverse roots of the Indian Ocean.
Genre: World: African
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Salama (Peace)
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4:18 $0.99
2. Narizambe (We Must Say It)
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4:16 $0.99
3. Meditation
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5:15 $0.99
4. Kweli II (Truth)
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4:56 $0.99
5. Leo ni leo (Winds of Hope)
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4:05 $0.99
6. Swing ta vie (Swing your Life
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4:34 $0.99
7. Musica (Music)
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4:13 $0.99
8. Ode a Maarouf (Ode to Maarouf)
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7:46 $0.99
9. Hima (Get up)
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4:54 $0.99
10. L'amour Sorcier (Love Wizard)
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4:18 $0.99
11. Dandzi (A Woman's Blues)
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2:53 $0.99
12. Aman (Peace of the Soul)
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7:59 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Nawal originally comes from the Comoros Islands, also known as the “Perfume Islands” or “Islands of the Moon,” located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Born into a family with many musicians, Nawal bathed in both popular and spiritual music from a young age, in her native islands and also in her new home in France.

Between traditional and contemporary, Nawal’s music weaves a rich dialog of cultures, a reflection of the diverse character of life in her native islands. Indo-Arabian-Persian music meets Bantu polyphonies, the syncopated rhythms and Sufi trance of the Indian Ocean. Nawal sings in Comoran, Arabic, French and English. An acoustic roots-based fusion, her music is rhythmically compelling and beautifully lyrical.

Known as the “Voice of Comoros,” Nawal is also the first Comoran woman singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist to give performances in public.

Nawal has gained international praise as a self-produced artist with her powerful voice and socially progressive commentary. Nawal has performed professionally for 20 years, and as a multi-instrumentalist she plays the gambusi (Comoran banjo-like instrument, cousin to the
oud), the daf (Iranian frame drum), and guitar, among others. Her first full-length album, “Kweli” (Truth), was released in 2001. Nawal is currently performing and touring as part of a trio. Along with Nawal, the trio includes Idriss Mlanao on contrabass and Melissa Cara Rigoli on mbira and percussion.


to write a review

fROOTS (UK) by Ian Anderson

\"Downright gorgeous music…a record that’s going to become a long-term favourite.”

THE BEAT by Steve Heilig

“Songs of charm and power.”

LA WEEKLY by Brick Wahl

\"On \'Aman\', her new tour de force, the nearby African rhythms - that kalimba, and the drumming and call-and-response - mix with Malagasy melodicism and tunings and the complexities of Arabic and Indian musical traditions.... The variety of songwriting and styles, that mix of sweet melody and energetic rhythms, reminds one a bit of much of Brazil\'s best - the variety of Caetano Veloso, of Gilberto Gil at his rootsy finest... The long tendrils of Islam are never far off, and Sufism suffuses the entire project ... And dig Idriss Mlanao\'s jazzy bass lines - it\'s what jazz fans can grab onto as we listen, soaking in all the exoticism of the rest.\"

FINANCIAL TIMES - by David Honigmann

\"Aman has a mesmeric slow burn, combining the African and Islamic influences of the archipelago... \"Meditation\", almost too pretty for its own good...\"

Reviewed By: Jon Pareles (NY Times)

A Big, Wide World of Music"
[One] of the most notable world music CDs released over the last year...
Nawal sets her gritty voice to sparse, staccato patterns of upright bass, thumb piano and the banjolike gambusi on "Aman." ...her music is a personal fusion that draws on the repetitive power of Sufi chants, along with modal acoustic vamps that can sound both African and Arabic. Her songs are lean and incantatory, and .... more often, she can be hypnotic.

Reviewed By: Banning Eyre

A self-styled vocalist, composer and string player (guitar and the long-necked lute called gambusi), Nawal hails from Comoros, an Island nation in the Indian Ocean. She has a silver-in-the-rough voice that conveys wisdom and experience, and her music is an unorthodox blend of Comoros tradition, Sufi spirituality, and more. Completing Nawal’s unusual trio are Melissa Cara Rigoli on mbira dzavadzimu and percussion, and Idriss Mlanao on warm-toned, sure footed contrabass. These collaborators bring elements of Shona (Zimbabwean) spirit culture and the more contemplative forms of acoustic jazz to the mix. They also contribute harmonized backing vocals that hover dreamily, and shadow Nawal’s bone-dry soul songs. On this, her second self-produced album, Nawal balances a mood of loving celebration with unsentimental contemplation of world conflict, suffering and oppression.
The set opens with “Salama,” a hypnotic prayer for peace inspired by the September 11 attacks, and wryly drawing its words from Muslim Hadith. “Narizambe (We Must Say It)” melds Shona and Sufi moods with prominent mbira, and a subtle marriage of 6/8 and 4/4 time. Some pieces—“Meditation,” “Kweli II (Truth),” “Amani (Peace of the Soul)”—have an almost ritual feel: spare soundscapes with forthright rhythms and cyclic vocal melodies, some taken from Sufi dzikr chanting. Other songs lift with the celebratory, 12/8 swing of more conventional Comoros folklore, or even Malagasy music. Malagasy guitarist Solorazaf is a guest on three tracks, including “Swing ta Vie (Swing your life),” on which his clean, electric guitar melodies contrast intriguingly with the dry, woody plink of Nawal’s gambusi. But even when the mood is up, it never feels frivolous; light and happiness are never entirely free from the darkness and weight of a troubled world.
Nawal’s voice has world weary moral authority that sustains even her boldest experiments. On one track, “Dandzi (A Woman’s Blues),” she sings alone, lamenting the difficulties of life for women in polygamous marriages. The most satisfying pieces here assemble disparate sounds to create unexpected effects. “Ode to Maarouf,” which honors Nawal’s great grandfather, a Sufi marabout, builds from the ancient strains of solo gambusi to an understated, polyrhythmic groove with the subtle swing of Afro-Peruvian music. Nawal is a modern original with deep respect for the past, and passionate—though never naïve—hope for the future.