Afghan-German singer Simin Tander opens a new door in her artistic journey with a freshly formed quartet and her beguiling new project „Unfading“. Tander’a first two solo albums from 2011 („Wagma“ Neuklang Records) and 2014 („Where Water Travels Home“ Jazzhaus Records) made waves among critics and public alike, and were followed by international tours and projects. Then, Simin started an acclaimed collaboration with Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen for ECM Records, resulting in the album "What Was Said» in 2016. Here, Simin re-interprets ancient Norwegian hymns as Sufi-poems in the Afghan language Pashto.
Together with Jarle Vespestad on drums they toured extensively in USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Norway and elsewhere, and received the prestigious „Annual award of German music critics“ („Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“). Simin now sets out on an adventure of intriguing musical and lyrical explorations on her new album «Unfading". With her masterfully expressive and deeply soothing voice, and a strikingly original quartet, she combines the melodic beauty of strong songwriting with improvised freedom. In this, she echoes the archaic past, as well as her oriental heritage. The material interestingly explores a female perspective: texts from women poets in the Pashto language, both contemporary and from the 16th century, are juxtaposed with the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Gabriela Mistral and Tander’s own compositions and words. She also boldly transforms an Afghan hit from the 1960s, integrating it into her own universe. An intertwined dramatic arc stretching across centuries connecting different creative women - with mature, evocative vocal power.
Simin has brought together three exceptional musicians in an entirely untypical ensemble: Bass player Björn Meyer (ECM recording artist) from Sweden and Samuel Rohrer (ECM recording artist) from Switzerland on percussion create the imaginative, rhythmic framework - in an interplay of driving, pulsating riffs and imaginative loose textures. The Tunisian musician Jasser Haj Youssef playing the viola d’amore, acts as a subtle counterpart to Tander's voice: the deep, delicately warm sound of this unique baroque instrument played in his special way, conjures up rich overtone landscapes and plays a leading role. The result is a celestial texture that seems to speak the unspeakable, yet first and foremost supporting the rich melodies and bringing Simin’s unique voice to the front. Simin Tander's new album represents her fearless immersion into fascinating, uncharted music territory.
Simin Tander new quartet:
Simin Tander - vocals
Jasser Haj Youssef - viola d´amore
Björn Meyer - bass & Eefects
Samuel Rohrer - drum set
Besides the Simin Tander new quartet there is a fascinating Duo ensemble: