Review | Songlines


Rating: ★★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details


Sabri Brothers


Piranha Records


This album is a double dedication, firstly to the 15th-century Sufi poetry of Jami, and secondly to the qawwali master Haji Ghulam Farid Sabri (d1994) and his son Amjad, who was murdered in 2016. This is qawwali at its raw best, the large, powerful, deep voices of the Sabri family singers, especially that of Ghulam Farid, capable of the soaring lines that are such a feature of the genre. The album starts off in fine form with ‘Az Hoosné Malihe Khud’ (all the tracks are sung in Farsi, and the language’s poetic beauty is clear even for non-speakers) and although the tempo picks up in the middle of the song, it never gets away from a very musical restraint, a feature of all the tracks here. The second track (‘Tanam Farsuda Jan’) features fine solo melismatic singing before the collective ensemble join in, while ‘Jahan Roshan Ast’ shows off the singers’ virtuosic talent. The album finishes with the antiphonal ‘Ba Shogat Jan Ba Alab’, with more fine singing. While this might lack some of the real fireworks of other qawwali recordings, it is very fine indeed with a musical finesse that lets more of the text come through.

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