2nd August 2023
A recent dialogue between the two siblings saw them approach topics including their previous work honouring Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, the process behind creating Zoe's new album Colour of Sound, and the realities of being a performing artist in today's musical environment.
The universe of sound inhabited by pianist Zoe Rahman contains worlds of influence and tradition that enable her to pour out melodies and arrangements that are enchanted with spirit, poise, and energy.
Her vast range of musical reference radiates a special love and appreciation for the iconic McCoy Tyner, as well as friend and mentor Joanne Brackeen, filtering these influences into a deeply personal sound that conjures the folkloric yearning reminiscent of Bheki Mseleku.
Zoe's mastery of form creates visionary textures, as on the album opener, 'Dance of Time', where she utilises Rowland Sutherland on flute and sets the band off into sparks of fire. The magical timbre of her brother Idris Rahman's clarinet melds beautifully with the piano on 'Little Ones', the melody rising gorgeously, journeying in and out of different sensations and feelings. Zoe's music has an energy that makes you want to dance, like on 'Sweet Jasmine', with its joyful and gloriously irresistible South African funk rhythm and vibration. 'Roots' pushes the envelope of the trio format, whilst 'Peace Garden' gently charms and beguiles. 'Unity' showcases Zoe's compositional brilliance and intricacy, and the skill of her orchestration leaves you with the feeling that you've been listening to a much bigger band than just eight musicians.
Sensations and vibrations are a major element of Zoe Rahman's music. She reaches deep into the soul of the listener, conjuring sounds from a broad musical palette, drawing you into her mysterious and transparent, earthy and heavenly, contemporary and ancient worlds. Listen and enjoy.
Zoe Rahman: piano
Alec Dankworth: double bass
Gene Calderazzo: drums
Idris Rahman: tenor and alto saxophone, clarinet
Rowland Sutherland: flute and alto flute
Alex Ridout: trumpet and flugelhorn
Byron Wallen: trumpet
Rosie Turton: trombone