Saturday, August 13, 2011

CD Review – Where I Belong, by Sajjad

If the first album by Bangladeshi-Canadian keyboardist Sajjad is any indication, the composer-musician has a promising career ahead of him.

Sajjad’s freshman offering is an auspicious debut, featuring strong melodies, impeccable musicianship, and dynamic energy, based on Sajjad’s keyboard- and synthesizer-based compositions. The music is built on a solid Western foundation with modern electric instruments and flavored with ethnic and traditional instruments and voices from around the world, giving the album a global sound. This is on par with world-class artists like John Tesh and Yanni, and I would say even exceeds them in terms of vigor, originality, and accessibility.

While Sajjad demonstrates excellence as a consummate bandleader on the majority of the tracks, he really shines on the first two tunes, which feature his keyboard dexterity and synthesizer sounds and textures at their best. The opening title track is a confident beginning statement, and the second track is true world fusion, complete with global rhythms and vocals. In fact, the latter is very similar in feel to the recent AOMUSIC release …and Love Rages On!

The CD is appropriately titled, because this is clearly where Sajjad belongs as an artist.

--Raj Manoharan

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