Record Store Day 29th August - Exclusive Release
Five Rivers is the ninth solo album from Najma Akhtar, in a career that has seen her collaborate with many world-class artists, as diverse as Jah Wobble, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Andy Summers, Basement Jaxx, Jethro Tull, Philip Glass, Gary Lucas (of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band) and many more. Embracing the diverse music of the World, both geographic and historic, Najma has consistently created a music that is both universally coherent and singularly personal to her own artistic vision. Her unfailing integrity has attracted critical acclaim from Rolling Stone magazine which praised her 'effortless artistry and emotional daring' and The Observer which declared 'The pure soaring arc of Najma's voice remains above emulation'.
A musical journey, 'Five Rivers' begins in India at the River Ganges and continues on to Africa and the River Niger, to Great Britain and Ireland, with the River Thames and the River Shannon and across the Atlantic to the majesty of the great Mississippi River. Throughout this album, Najma explores the synergies that exist between the ancient poetic art form of the Indian Ghazal and the Western traditions of song.
'Five Rivers' can be best described as a confluence of the musical, poetic and linguistic traditions of the East and the West, brought together through the purity and beauty of voice. In researching this project, Najma has absorbed the distinct musical traditions of West Africa, the Mississippi Delta, the Western Folk tradition, Ghazal, Rock music, Jazz and Psychedelia, taking only that which would serve to demonstrate their interconnectivity. Najma's voice has been used in films, documentaries and theatre. Her work has been widely acknowledged not only as a leading light in the development of East/West fusion in the West, but also as an independent Asian woman and feminist role model. The musical arrangements of 'Five Rivers' reflect Najma's premise of interconnectivity, employing the Indian Harmonium, Violin, Tabla, Electric Guitar & Bass, the African Udo & N'goni, all of which serve to support, enhance and truly showcase the profound soulfulness of Najma Akhtar's voice.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. Black Is The Colour Of My True Loves Hair / 2. Cryin' Crazy / 3. Old Man / 4. The Song Of Wandering Aengus. Side B: 1. Death Don't Have No Mercy / 2. Season Of The Witch / 3. Dancing Waltz / 4. You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie