Saz'iso - At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me: The Joys And Sorrows Of Southern Albanian Song LP


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Label: Glitterbeat

"Why not give yourself a break from the unending cavalcade of modern high-speed insanity, and rest up with this album of deep soul from Southern Albania." - Ry Cooder

Brazilian samba, Bosnian Sevdah, New Orleans jazz, Cuban son and Albanian Saze! The turn of the last century saw mass migrations to the world's cities with rural people bringing their music with them, adapting their traditions to new circumstances and modern instruments. Of all these great musical forms, the mesmerizing arabesques, joyful dances, and heart-breaking laments of Saze are among the least recorded, and they remain largely unknown outside Albania.

At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me: The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song is the debut of Saz'iso, a group of virtuoso musicians and legendary singers assembled by veteran producer Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Cubanismo, Songhai) and his co-producers, Edit Pula and Andrea Goertler. The album was recorded live, with no overdubs, by Grammy-winning engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Toure, Orchestra Baobab) over three days of October 2016 at the Akademia e Filmit dhe Multimedias Marubi in Tirana, Albania.

The music of Southern Albania is iso-polyphonic, which means that it combines at least two melodic vocal lines, a lead (marres, the "taker") and a second (preres, the "cutter"), with a multi-voiced drone or iso. When manufactured "tempered" instruments arrived in the region in the late 19th century, Saze ensembles were born; clarinets and violins took on the roles of the lead and second voices while lutes carried the iso. As Vasil S. Tole, Albania's leading expert on iso-polyphony puts it: "Saze remains to this day the musical language of the cities of Southern Albania, where East and West embraced when European instruments collided with the magic of a cappella iso-polyphony, and where life and death still coexist in a sound that is truly unique."

Donika Pecallari: voice; Adrianna Thanou: voice; Robert Tralo: voice; Aurel Qirjo: violin and voice; Telando Feto: clarinet; Agron Murat: llaute (lute); Agron Nasi: dajre (frame drum); Pellumb Meta: fyell (flute) and voice.