This album by Armenian-American, New York-based jazz pianist Armen Donelian’s proves it is possible to celebrate Armenia’s rich cultural history from a contemporary perspective. The album pays tribute to the 18th-century Armenian poet and troubadour, Sayat Nova’s, revered original melodies, but does not shy away from more modern influences, most notably, mainstream jazz and classical music.
Some of the tracks on the album take on a highly classical character, as in “Tamam Ashkhar Bdood Eka,” which incorporates a wide range of 20th-century stylistic textures. Other songs, like “Tekouz Koo Kashn Markrit Tan,” draw heavily from Afro-Cuban elements, reminiscent of his time playing in Mongo Santamaria’s New York City jazz band in the 70’s.
♪♫ Listen: “Oosdi Goukas Gharib Bibool” + album stream