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Djivan Gasparyan/Michael Brooks: Black Rock

Another new Realworld release based on the convergence of cultures is Black Rock (Realworld 7243 8 46230; 44:07), bringing together the renowned Armenian duduk player Djivan Gasparyan with world-rock-whatever guitarist-producer Michael Brooks, a hyphenate-happy musician if ever there were one. Brooks has done similar hybrid projects with such non-western legends as the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and, as with that project, Night Song, the Gasparian project is a qualified rush, a watering-down of the initial profundity of the inspiration.

Gasparyan has also enjoyed the embrace of a wide public thanks to the support of Peter Gabriel, Michael Stipe, and others. Brook was the producer on Gasparyan’s moving solo 1993 recording Moon Shines at Night, but the producer steps up and steps in this time around. Hearing Gasparyan in this westernized, wired-up context amounts to a nice idea nicely stocked with pleasant moments, ambient hypnosis, and sonorous riches.

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