Zoe & Idris Rahman - Where Rivers Meet (3 stars)

Zoe & Idris Rahman - Where Rivers Meet

(Manushi Records)


Pianist Zoe Rahman joins forces with her brother, clarinettist and flautist Idris Rahman, to pay tribute to the Bengali heritage handed down to them by their father. The pianist’s trio with bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo forms the jazz element of the disc, augmented by Kuljit Bhamra’s percussion, Samy Bishai on violin, and several guest vocalists singing the Bengali songs.

The songs make up about a third of the album, with the remainder given over to purely instrumental material. The beguiling melodies and richly coloured harmonies combine to form a fascinating, lightly textured hybrid that is part chamber jazz and part Bengali folk-pop music, although the tunes may also make you think of Balkan or Gypsy music at times. A distinctly different and always absorbing take on the world jazz phenomenon.

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