And so we continue to be fortunate to have available if we seek it out musics from everywhere and anywhere. Today an excellent example of the sort of music one might never have had the chance to hear 60 years ago, namely Sarajevo chanteuse Amira Medunjanin in her fourth album of traditional sevdah songs from the Balkan region, Silk & Stone (World Village).
Ms. Medunjanin's voice is warm and nuanaced, a beautiful instrument she puts in the service of some very memorable music. Since the Balkan region is somewhat new to me musically, I do not know the songs, but they are very melodically alive and range from minor-key Eastern European-Middle Eastern sensibilities to folkish modal-diatonic strains. An occasional odd-meter reminds you of something Balkan music does so well.
The arrangements are quite vibrant and interesting, thanks to the fine sense of pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic and guitarist Bosko Jovic. Conventional western instruments seamlessly rub shoulders with the kanun and the oud. The piano playing is often quite distinctively nice, and the guitar steps out front on occasion to good effect. Add the double bass and sometimes the more "exotic" stringed instruments and you have some very musical arrangements that help the listener grasp the sense of the song structures.
In the end Ms. Medunjanin's artistry, the beauty of the songs and the strong musicality of the arrangements carry the day. This is one captivating album! Buy it without fear! This particular music as performed so well by Amira and company should have universal appeal for those who love to explore.