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Say It
(2020 - Glomama Music - Finland)

A rich cross-cultural journey of exquisite world fusion which includes exceptional use of brass, percussion, and superior ethnic vocals that go from urban to otherworldly. Anna Dantchev can handle any style in the universe it appears. Her father is a Bulgarian jazz musician and ethnomusicologist who moved to Finland in the 1960's. Anna and her mother were born in Finland. Both her father and grandmother taught her about Bulgarian music early on. Her great grandmother was a "lamenter" of Bulgarian tradition who lived in a small village in the Balkan Mountains.  As she grew up in Finland, she took the time to reach back into the tradition herself. With 'Say It', she gifts the listener with a tapestry of world styles often graced with the atmosphere and cordage of Bulgarian folk music.

This, Anna's debut, is one gorgeous album. She named the band Dantchev : Domain to reference much of Bulgarian music being of public domain. That plus the fact that all of the music on her album are her own compositions (lyrics and music) except what is credited to the band (1,2,4,7,10) and track 8 by Anna and Joao Luis. She says that with a play on words, the Dantchev Domain also has the meaning of this music is now her domain, "her territory", her own world. The members performing are Anna Dantchev (FI/BG): vocals, tupan-drum / Erno Haukkala (FI): trombone, sousaphone / Kenneth Ojutkangas (FI/US): tuba, guitar / Antti-Pekka Rissanen (FI): drums / Joao Luís (PT): percussion, vibraphone. Let me say that the entire band is outstanding. They create music that is at once sacred and deeply rooted in various traditions. If you like the heavenly stylings of Hildegard of Bingen, and world fusion of Dead Can Dance, you will find much to love about this album. Be informed there are many other facets included. Anna's voice stands alone in a mist of sweet smoke. The addition of guitar, percussion, and beautiful touches of horn, bring the songs to a magical level and at times titillating . The pieces glide with ease on a palette of flavors, making this no ordinary recording.

The production is amazing  thanks to the recording and mix by Mikko Raita. Everything from looks at Middle Eastern, African, medieval, Latin, and jazz are involved during the numbers presented. One is taken from serious to joyous, solemn to ready to jump on the dance floor. Obviously this is going to be a undiscovered jewel for many, but I am proud to bring it to the reader's attention and urge you to buy and absorb the deep vibes put forth. The ten compositions of passion beg to be heard in their entirety. I deem this a must for your 2020 music collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 11 - 18 - 2020 
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