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CD Review & LAist Interview: Cheb i Sabbah's "Devotion" + Release Party at Temple Bar on Saturday + LAist Interview

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Artist: Cheb i Sabbah
Album: Devotion
Label: Six Degrees Records
Release Date: 01/29/08

Listen to "Qalanderi":

Devotion CD Release Party @ The Temple Bar - Saturday, February 2nd

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The incomparable Cheb i Sabbah has produced Devotion, his seventh release for Six Degrees Records, once again inviting us to enjoy his updated presentation of the timeless music of central Asia. San Francisco-based Cheb i Sabbah traveled to India to record the vocals for several tracks with superstars of the genres he seeks to teach us about. Devotion features three distinct traditions of religious music representing Hinduism, Sikhism, and Sufi Islam.

All the songs are in the ethnic fusion/trance style that has been Cheb i Sabbah's calling card for the last 10 years or so and these are at least as beautiful as songs from what are considered his "classic" albums, Shri Durga and Krishna Lila. There are tripped-out kirtans and gurbanis, a trance-inducing version of "Kinna Sohna", a tune written by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and "Qalanderi" (listen above) a qawwali sung by Riffat Sultana who will be performing with him at the Devotion record release party on Friday. One of my favorite tracks is the incredibly dubbed out "Haun Vaari Haun Varaney", a 10+ minute devotional recitation whose text that Cheb i Sabbah leaves unadulterated out of respect for its religious origins and meanings.