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Night Ark - In wonderland


Night Ark is an instrumental quartet led by Ara Dinkjiani. The ensemble blends the sounds of the Middle East with elements of rock, pop, jazz, and classical forms of music. The group came together in 1986 after Steve Backer, a producer for RCA, heard a demo of one of Dinkjiani's original compositions and promptly issued an invitation to record. After pulling together the quartet, Dinkjiani and his crew recorded the albums Moments and Picture. Night Ark next inked a deal with Polygram, which put out the albums In Wonderland and Petals on Your Path. The ensemble has played to sold-out houses in the Middle East and Europe. It has appeared at the Israel Festival, the Yerevan International Jazz Festival, and the Istanbul Jazz Festival. The group's songs utilize such traditional instruments as the saz, the zither, the oud, and the cumbus. Dinkjiani is ranked among the premiere oud players in the world. He was raised on the sounds of jazz, pop, and the music of Caucasus. At Connecticut's Hartt College of Music, he earned the first degree granted there in the oud while studying theory and composition. Night Ark also includes Arto Tuncboyaciyan on percussion. He was born in Turkey of Armenian descent, and has worked with such artists as Al DiMeola and Joe Zawinul. Armen Donelian, who is also of Caucasian heritage and has worked with Mango Santamaria and Sonny Rollins, plays piano for the group. Rounding out the quartet is Marc Johnson, who previously worked with Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, and Bill Evans, among others. Picture is the recording debut of the quartet Night Ark, led by oud player Ara Dinkjiani, who wrote most of the compositions and also plays canoon, cumbus, and Portuguese mandolin. This difficult-to-classify music was often filed under new age, though it was a bit too sophisticated for that label, and, as a result, the label probably had trouble promoting it to radio stations and critics. The leader's unusual interpretation of the Beatles' "Blackbird" opens with unaccompanied percussion and a brief, improvised oud solo before introducing its theme. Dinkjiani's strongest compositions, including the lyrical opener "Trees" and the exotic extended suite "Of Song and Silence," feature piano rather than the DX7, which doesn't fit in with the otherwise all-acoustic sound of the group. Night Ark would only make one more recording for Novus before entering a long period of inactivity in the studio before their one-shot effort for Emarcy was recorded a decade following their debut; this long-out-of-print CD may be somewhat difficult to locate.

Artist: Night Ark
Album: Collection
Year of release: 1997
Tracks: 10


1. Very Nice (spontaneous pleasures)
2. They Love Me 15 Feet Away (betrayal and solitude)
3. Is That How Loving You Goes? (adolescent visions)
4. Lisa (a love story in my mind)
5. Going With Abandon (facing the unknown)
6. Lullaby For The Sun (for my daughter Arev)
7. In Wonderland (a safe place to be)
8. Keesher Bar (a "night dance" for Onno)
9. Heru Mertar ("don't go far away" from you true self)
10. Going With Abandon (Reprise) (one last groove)

Add to Cart:

  • Model: Audio CD
  • Artist: Night Ark
  • Music Genre: Jazz

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 19 January, 2012.

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