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Azigza Azigza album cover
4.09 | 33 ratings | 6 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Glass (5:11)
2. Remember (5:24)
3. Petra (8:18)
4. Touch Moon Window (8:01)
5. Ratzinitza (3:55)
6. Distance (5:48)
7. Zaman (6:13)
8. Friends (6:22)
9. Edallah ya Rashidi (6:52)

Total Time 56:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Kevin Evans / violin, viola, cello, harp, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin
- Cyoakha Grace / vocals
- Stephan Junca / drums, djembe, doumbek, guiro, bongos, assorted percussion
- Pierce McDowell / bass, sitar, tamboura
- Raja / tabla, kanjeera, djembe, zils, drums assorted percussion
- Pedra Rivera / djembe, doumbek, conga, shakers, zils, assorted percussion

Releases information

Lionharp (no cat. #)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to grin for the last updates
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AZIGZA Azigza ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AZIGZA Azigza reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Owl
5 stars Beautiful, entrancing and sensual mix of Middle Eastern and Celtic music into an electrified heady brew that you just can't tear yourself away from.

Words can't do this justice, experience it yourself.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars It makes sense that I discovered AZIGZA purely by chance, while recently trolling the Internet. This is a band with the sort of global perspective not often heard before the age of the World Wide Web, and listening to their year 2000 debut album is like having a passport to a perfumed Middle Eastern oasis, or following the caravan trail across a wind-swept Central Asian plateau.

Never mind the supposed Celtic influence mentioned elsewhere on their pages here at Prog Archives. To me the group looks and sounds more like a post-modern folk ensemble from backwoods Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan, augmented with a fretless bass and lots of electric violins. But in fact they actually hail from an even more exotic cultural outpost: the San Francisco Bay Area, and as a native son in exile I can be excused for making a crack like that.

The six member line-up is for the most part devoted to playing obscure ethnic percussion and allsorts, but make no mistake: this isn't just another arid exercise in ersatz World Music anthropology. Underneath the colorful wardrobe, and even more arcane instrumentation (kanjeera, djembe, doumbek, and zils), beats a heart of genuine rock 'n' roll, strong enough to include an unlikely but energetic Led Zeppelin cover: the song "Friends", off the LZ III album.

The music is by turns lush and romantic, or sharp and jagged, but always with enough melodic appeal to sound relaxed and spontaneous even when the time signatures require a scorecard: check out the subtle, daredevil twists and turns of "Zaman". The mood is enhanced by the seductive vocals of Cyoakha Grace (singing in English, which only slightly spoils the album's rich, otherworldly flavor), and by some truly beautiful tunes, ranging from the dreamy, ethereal "Petra" (featuring GONG's Daevid Allen as a guest guitarist) to the sinuous Arabian Night groove of "Edallah ya Rashidi", and from there to the more contemporary, guitar-driven Prog sounds of "Remember" and "Glass".

It's hard to imagine a band like this existing a mere generation ago. But these days, with even the farthest horizon only a mouse-click away, the music of AZIGZA is the perfect companion for intrepid armchair travelers with an ear for esoteric rhythms and melodies.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album was a wonderful surprise to me! I think the LED ZEPPELIN cover song on this album is much better than the original one, but I'm not very much into Zeps anyway. This record can also be used as an example, if somebody claims that there's no good progressive music coming out from the United States. I couldn't first find anything negative from it, but maybe this isn't so immortal music, as it didn't grasp my attention for a long time. Good ethnic related stuff still, so this is recommended sincerely for everybody who have appeal for such!
Review by Fishy
4 stars Hard to list the music of Azigza under a specific musical genre. Prog ? Not really but a highly original effort in any case. It's a mixture of progressive rock, classical music, folk with eastern influences and even some fusion. Some prog listeners will find it strange that there's no keyboards present in the line up but this is no problem at all. The songs are mainly driven by the voice and the stunning violin, viola and cello parts. But also the other instruments are handled very well. The electric guitars, mandolins, sitars are mainly used to support the excellent melodies and barely come to the front unlike the pumping bass lines. The line-up includes 3 percussionist who ad lots of variation in the percussion without getting the focus too much on the percussion. Unlike you could expect with a so many instruments around, the sound is not overblown by too many musical parts playing at the same time. The names of Lisa Gerard and even Toyah come to mind when hearing the gorgeous vocals of Cyoakha Grace but her voice is sounding a lot more eastern and is a delight to listen to especially when she reaches the higher tones. The music is very light and uplifting and suitable to be listened at on a beautiful summer morning. Most songs hold several changes in mood and atmosphere varying from esoteric or dreamy to sensual or even sharp in the up-tempo excerpts. The mysterious sounding tracks are compelling all the way. I suppose this will not be everyone's cup of tea. Sometimes their sound is reminiscent to Curved Air while the unledded album of Jimmy Page & Robert Plant comes to mind when hearing the magnificent cover version of "friends" a Led Zep track. These similarities are minor, for a first album, this sounds rather unique. If you like to listen to violin, lovely female vocals and you 've got an open mind to ethnic music then this album is something for you.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It was through the live ProgDay2001 recording that I became aware of this San Francisco band.That otherworldly Middle-Eastern / Indian flavour with those gorgeous vocals had me itching for more. I picked up their second and so far final album "Kriya" which surprised me because the vocalist Cyoakha Grace had a very limited role but the impressive thing was how complex the music was. Also they even had more traditional instruments. It was different though from the ProgDay 2001 concert. Anyway this debut may not be as impressive as far as the compositions go but it's still freaking amazing, and Cyoakha is front and center just like at that ProgDay concert. So to be honest it's tough to pick which one of the two albums I like more. Both are a valuable part of my collection.

"Glass" has lots of percussion as the vocals join in at a minute. It settles back briefly then kicks back in as these contrasts continue. Cool ending to this one. "Remember" opens with violin with atmosphere then it kicks in fuller before a minute. Lots of violin and percussion. It settles with vocals then kicks back in again. She's such a great singer. Love this track.

"Petra" features a guest appearance from Daevid Allen (GONG) on guitar. Very cool. Atmosphere and vocal melodies as percussion joins in then vocals. Dreamy stuff. Keyboards after 4 minutes then the song becomes more urgent. A calm 5 1/2 minutes in. Excellent tune. "Touch Moon Window" is experimental to start. It kicks in with heavy drums and violin then vocals. Great sound ! It settles and she becomes the focus with her vocals. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. Check it out after 3 1/2 minutes when the guitar comes in.So good.

"Ratzinitza" is very ethnic sounding with violin, percussion and clapping. A TEA PARTY vibe when the sitar comes in each time. I like this one. "Distance" opens with vocal melodies, violin and acoustic guitar.Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Back to the violin on this mysterious track.

"Zaman" is a melancholic track that is one of my favourites. "Friends" is a LED ZEPPELIN cover that is freshly done if you know what I mean. A triumph ! "Edallah Ya Rashidi" is very Middle-Eastern sounding. Guitar changes that somewhat after 2 1/2 minutes but certainly not completely.The guitar ends before 3 1/2 minutes though as percussion and violin lead. It speeds up after 5 minutes (nice) to the end.

I'm just so impressed with this band.You can't go wrong with either of their albums either. Both are easily 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A great and nice surpirse... Firts: the clean and lovely voice of Cyoakha Grace. Second: inetersting compositions with celtic, arabic and asian inffluences, with a great work on violin... It reminds me some songs by Ankh (a superb polish band) and even Led Zeppelin and Antichrisis... Some son ... (read more)

Report this review (#74437) | Posted by progadicto | Saturday, April 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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