The second ECM album from Berlin-based band Cyminology, recorded like its predecessor in Oslo, with Manfred Eicher producing, takes further the modus operandi outlined on the critically-acclaimed “As Ney”, and shows a growth of musical confidence on all fronts. Interaction inside the band is increasingly dynamic. Cymin Samawatie continues to write most of the band’s material, and on the present showing, pianist Benedikt Jahnel, drummer Ketan Bhatti and bassist Ralf Schwarz are finding new freedoms inside the structures. Bhatti and Jahnel also bring their own compositions into the band; for the drummer this is a new development. “Ketan’s writing is very open”, says Cymin, “and that allows for a lot of improvisational input from everybody. Benedikt’s pieces are often more detailed in their arrangement. For me their contribution as composers is a real enrichment for the band as a whole. Offering different colours, but working within the special character of the group.”
Where, last time around, singer Cymin Samawatie drew on classic Persian poetry (Rumi, Hafez), for some of her texts, this time the lyrics are all hers. Realities of life in Iran, observed at a distance, influenced some of the writing – in particular “Shakibaai” and the title track “Saburi”. Originally written for Cymin’s performance at the 2009 Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück, these are songs shaped at a time when Ahmadinejad’s security forces were suppressing post-election protests on the streets of Tehran, and there is exasperation in the song-texts, as well as a kind of bitter stoicism. (“Saburi” translates as “patience”, “Shakibaai” as “endurance”).