Saz'iso – At Least Wave Your Handkerchief at Me (5 stars)

Saz'iso – At Least Wave Your Handkerchief at Me

Revelatory album of Southern Albanian vocal music

Subtitled 'the joys and sorrows of Southern Albanian song' this is a gorgeous, life-affirming album from Saz'iso, masters of the Saze tradition. Hailing from Albania's isolated mountain regions, Saze is one of Europe's richest folk traditions, defined by the iso-polyphony of its singers, and an instrumental palette of violin, clarinet, lute and frame drum. Donika Pecallari, Adrianna Thanou and Robert Tralo sing keening laments and hypnotic arabesques with grace and fire, their voices rising and falling in intricate, otherworldly polyphony. Aurel Qirjo's violin and Telando Feto's clarinet snake around each other, breaking free for solos and gutsy riffs. A revelation.

Out now on Glitterbeat.

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