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AZIGZA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Azigza biography
AZIGZA's debut is an outstanding blend of truly progressive music... Combining Middle Eastern, Arabic, Indian, African, as well as hints of Celtic and Native American influences with traditional rock. They play all sorts of instruments: guitars, harp, electric violin and percussion instruments into a stirring whole... Very good sense of dynamics and lots of compositional interest. They are an excellent band mixing a powerful percussive and hypnotic music.. Musically ... a cross between Daevid Allen era GONG, CURVED AIR and DEAD CAN DANCE. I will say that they were in a word: AMAZING!!!

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AzigzaAzigza
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$14.64
$6.47 (used)
KriyaKriya
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$16.47
$13.55 (used)
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AZIGZA discography


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AZIGZA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 20 ratings
Azigza
2000
3.69 | 11 ratings
Kriya
2004

AZIGZA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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AZIGZA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Azigza by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.11 | 20 ratings

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Azigza
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Kriya by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.69 | 11 ratings

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Kriya
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I first heard this band on the ProgDay 2001 double disc I have and I was really surprised at how incredible these guys sounded.They are from San Fransisco, California and have a strong World music flavour which is why I was surprised that I liked it so much.There are instruments used that I haven't even heard of before, but this still has that Rock element, in fact these guys can bring it when they want to and that's what I love about them. KING CRIMSON has to be an influence when you here them let loose at times. So they're a four piece with lots of guests.This is very intricate sounding with some killer in your face bass. Everything is done so well.

"Ogun" opens with atmosphere as a stringed instrument comes in. It's building as the drums join in then male vocals. Love the guitar and chunky bass here.The percussion is excellent too. Everything is so intricate.

"Medicine" is an incredible track.It's spacey with male vocals that almost mumble along with female vocals melodies.The atmosphere and stringed instruments with the vocals are all so beautiful. It blends into "Wheel Of Bembe" then it becomes fuller sounding. Male vocals after a minute. Lots of drums and percussion here.Violin after 1 1/2 minutes then it stops after 4 minutes as they noodle about.

"Yaman" has these flute-like sounds then violin after a minute. It's building before 2 minutes then it settles back. Female vocals follow then the violin comes to the fore when the vocals stop. It picks up before 6 1/2 minutes with vocal melodies and an intense sound of guitar and drums. Huge bass lines too. "Orphans Of Agadir" is an instrumental that has an interesting rhythm to it.

"The Wall" has some Fripp-like guitar to open as the drums pound.Violin kicks in too. Cool track. "The Reminder" is one of my favourites. It has a similar sounding guitar and sound as the previous track except it becomes more powerful and intense. Incredible !

"Amalgram" is also a top tune for me.You can hear someone speaking to a crowd then sirens come in and other sounds. Percussion builds then other instruments join in followed by female vocal melodies. Great sound here ! Spoken female vocals come in. So freaking cool ! "A Bulgarian Suite" is led by the violin quickly as the bass and drums support.This is so impressive.The interplay is mind boggling.

"Shiva Calling" is very Eastern sounding. Male vocals 2 1/2 minutes in and female vocals follow. "X-Resolutions" has a KING CRIMSON vibe to it. Female vocals a minute in. Love the guitar after 4 minutes.Vocal melodies after 6 minutes. She's screaming out before 8 minutes. Amazing ! A change after 9 minutes with samples then it turns intense with sirens and more. A traditional Indian vibe takes over to end it as it calms right down.

This must be heard to be believed. With music like this AZIGZA should be much more popular than they are. Very close to 4.5 stars for this gem.

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 Kriya by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.69 | 11 ratings

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Kriya
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Perfect album of world fusion , coming from US. Main strong point of music recorded is jazzy element. Whenever too often world fusion is a mix with world/folk music with some modern music elements (often rock or some jazz), there jazz element is a basis of all mix.

From another hand, world ingredients are very different, from Middle East to African to Indian. So, just imagine very energetic mix of all these traditions in music, played by jazz musicians. In a modern manner, with some prog rock elements. Here you have what is recorded on this album.

All ingredients are very rich and different, so music is very various - no chance any listener will be bored. Just note - this music is progressive world fusion, no jazz fusion, so possibly not every jazz purist could accept it.

Very recommended for great professional world fusion fans. Really 3,5!

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 Azigza by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.11 | 20 ratings

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Azigza
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by progadicto

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 songs to remember: Glass, Remember, Touch Moon Window, Zaman... perhaps the entire album is great. If you are a fanatic of prog mixed with ethnical, Azigza has to be in your collection...

4 * without a doubt!!

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 Azigza by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.11 | 20 ratings

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Azigza
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Fishy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Azigza by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.11 | 20 ratings

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Azigza
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
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!

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 Azigza by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.11 | 20 ratings

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Azigza
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Kriya by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.69 | 11 ratings

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Kriya
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Now try to imagine a combination of KING CRIMSON ("Beat-era") with Middle Eastern, Arabic and Indian music and you will not be far off describing the music of AZIGZA. This is total cerebral music complete with unique and killer ethnic percussion and ethereal strings . Musically this band combine a diverse set of world instruments with guitar, bass and electric violin. The end result is something you have definitely not heard before but am sure will simply love from start to finish. "Kriya" is essentially 6 ragas of instrumental beauty, each contrasting with an explosion of progressive rock and world genres and manage to explore unique ground in both texture and theme. For those looking for something very original, very professional and very tasty please pick this album up... amazing music.

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 Azigza by AZIGZA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.11 | 20 ratings

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Azigza
Azigza Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by The Owl
Prog Reviewer

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.

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