Daramad explores the confluence between the music of the Middle East and improvised jazz. Drawing on their diverse cultural backgrounds and improvisational skills, they perform an original repertoire, as well as innovative arrangements of tunes by famed composers of the Islamic world.
Drawing on their diverse cultural and musical backgrounds, Daramad, comprising three Iranian and three Australian born musicians, explores the confluence between the music of the Middle East and improvised jazz. Central to Daramad's sound are two lutes, the Turkish baglama and Arabic oud. Together with a surprising variety of wind/reed and percussion instruments and some challenging time signatures, the baglama and oud underscore the unique and richly textured Daramad sound. Add to this this lineup two outstanding new female members, a fine young jazz double bassist and a superb classically trained singer in the Persian tradition and Daramad is embarking on a new and really exciting phase.
Singer, Tara Tiba and bassist, Kate Pass join fellow members, Reza Mirzaei (saz and guitar), Michael Zolker (oud and percussion), Saeed Danesh (tombek, daf and other percussion instruments) and Mark Cain (saxes, ethnic reeds and flutes). Together, drawing on their formidable combined composition and improvisational skills, they perform a programme of their own largely original music, influenced by Persian, Middle-Eastern and jazz idioms.
In the Persian classical tradition, daramad refers to the process of beginning or emerging. Daramad originally emerged as a result of its members playing together during Kulcha’s Freeform improvisation evenings and are now returning to this venue to launch their debut album which is released on Parentheses Records, a Perth based label which sits at the crossroads between tradition and continuum.
Since inception Daramad has held a weekly residency at the Gypsy Tapas House in Fremantle, Western Australia. The group also performs regularly at the venue where they first met and played, Kulcha in Fremantle. In recent years Daramad has done sessional work at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre and in 2011they played at both the Fairbridge Music Festival and the Harbourside Music Series in Albany, WA. Daramad have again been invited to play at the Fairbridge Music Festival in 2013. Daramad Have just released the debut eponymously titled CD.
Here some recent Reviews of our new self-titled CD
"One of the things I love about Daramad is their deceptive nature: simple sounding pieces are complex. A satisfying effect of Daramad is its hypnotic quality: the circling melodies andt (to Western ears anyway) exotic harmonies are entrancing and well worth revisiting. while no-one can doubt the professional and serious demeanour of the skill of playing, Daramad avoids that most fatal of sins in music - pretension - by the sly wink found in their playing... I hope Daramad tours Sydney. I'd love to see them live!"
D.L. Lewis, winter edition of Music Forum, 2013 - journal of The Music Council of Australia
... and a review from Jazz and Beyond magazine...
"Perth based Daramad have an authentic Middle Eastern sound thanks to their two lutes, the Turkish baglama and the oud. The jazz flavour comes in the form of saxophone, bass clarinet and double bass. Daramad is a traditional Persian term for the process of emergence. ‘World Jazz’ by nature brings with it glorious opportunities to explore new and exciting rhythms and this disc is no exception. The band brings together Australian and Iranian artists lead by saxophonist Mark Cain whose growling tenor tone is reminiscent of David Murray and his unison lines with the zithering lutes define the signature Daramad sound. Cain is known for his bold, innovative, quirky and challenging projects such as AC/PVC, an ensemble performing musical inventions made from poly pipe. The modulated nature of these authentic originals and traditional tunes can be entrancing even mesmerising perhaps tending to repetitious for some. The group dynamics and improvisations in that rich Middle Eastern context, colour this authentic fusion, rewarding the close listener with jubilant exoticism".
Peter Wockner, "Jazz and Beyond"
( http://www.jazzandbeyond.com.au/cdreview.html )
...and another from Rhythms online magazine
"A shared background in classical Persian music informs the creations of Daramad, another superior WA-based instrumental sextet comprising three Iranian-born and three Australian-born players. In its excellent [eponymously titled] debut album, recorded over a single weekend – the band blends traditional Middle Eastern influences with the improvised energy of jazz. This it achieves with no small measure of sophistication, subtlety and skill on an interesting selection of instruments. While Daramad’s music is intricate and set to interesting time signatures, it’s by no means inaccessible. As the band’s own blurb aptly and eloquently indicates, the music is woven together like a Persian carpet of vibrant tonal colours and evolving motifs. The interaction between the plucked strings of oud and saz/baglama (lutes), reeds and some exotic percussion works on a visceral and intellectual level. The instruments combine most impressively in ‘Zornery’, with composer Mark Cain’s tenor and soprano saxophones creating mesmerising lead lines before the lutes lock in a passionate embrace and Philip Waldron chips in with a delightfully mellow solo double bass interlude. Reza Mirzaei’s saz/baglama introduces the self-composed ‘Dashti’ and later swaps figures with Michael Zolker’s oud and Cain’s bass clarinet in a well-arranged piece that also includes Saeed Danesh’s tombak (Persian hand drum). The percussionist’s skill on frame drums (daf and bendir) is evident on Cain’s processional dance ‘Tigris Eye’ and O.F.Tekbilek’s ‘Caspian Winds’, the latter featuring tárogató (a Turkish woodwind instrument) and one of only two non-original compositions on the album. Guitar and oud combine most effectively to set up ‘Lamma Bada’, a soulful traditional 8th century Arabic-Andalusian love song. Zolker’s ‘Galactica’ and Waldron’s ‘Magpie’ add to the album’s variety by injecting a bluesy inflection".
Tony Hillier, Rhythms
... and a review of Daramad live at the Ellington Jazz Club, Perth...
“Daramad traverse moods and cultural influences with an almost confounding cohesion. What makes them so convincing is how seamlessly they fuse their Persian and jazz influences, to a point where it feels unlike a “fusion”at all, instead something singular and special. You might like them for the musicianship, for the intriguing conceptual endeavour or exploring the junctions of styles that are worlds apart, for the near-psychedelic soundscapes that emerge or for the remarkable composition that has gone into this project.”
Lyndon Blue, Cool Perth Nights © 2012 Cool Perth Nights
(Review in full: http://www.coolperthnights.com/articles/music%20writer/513 )
"Fusing the sounds of the middle east with a strong improvisational jazz bent, Daramad sound like nothing and no-one else. It’s difficult to imagine this music hailing from anywhere in particular, but with it’s fluid rhythms, sinewy melodies and exceptional musicianship it’s great that we can claim such an original musical creation as our own.
Adam Trainor - Music Director RTRFM 92.1
"I've spent a few days listening to this and it really is a very special album thank you Mark Cain, Reza Mirzaei, Mike Zolker and Saeed Danesh and I so enjoyed the concert with Kate Pass and Tara Tiba adding not only the glamour but also fantastic passion and energy". Alma Sarhan, Editor, Bellydance Oasis
...and earning the mantle of, 'Almost, but not quite single of the week' is this profound piece of witchcraft from local jazz-improv ensemble with strong Arabic associations Daramad. The title track [Isfahan] has already earned kudos featuring on the Jazzaziz compilation, but it's the flip-side Zornery that takes the royal biscuit. Working around a veritable snakepit of stealthy Middle Eastern rhythms, it operates like some kind of deadly tango noir as various guitar-like instruments encircle one another in a fevered embrace. Hunters for something a bit different will no doubt be salivating with anticipation for the upcoming album launch. [Drum Media]
Here are responses of Festival Presenters that have seen Daramad:
I have had the pleasure of following their career from their beginnings, as a by-product of a regular “session” at Kulcha in Fremantle, where artists from diverse cultural backgrounds were invited to improvise together. Their evolution has seen them develop a distinctive sound based on a solid basis of traditional Persian music with a seamless overlay of Western jazz improvisation. Their regular performances in Fremantle have seen them develop into one of the most accomplished acts to emerge on the WA world music scene in the last several years. They made a very strong impression at Fairbridge this year, in a number of performances including a very well received workshop on the history and techniques of Persian music.
Steve Barnes (Artistic Director - Folkworld Fairbridge Festival)