this album Minoo Javan sings soulful American Jazz classics in the soft
and romantic Persian language. It was produced by the incomparable Les
McCann, an American Jazz icon, who also appears as a guest artist on this
recording. “Les McCann built a career on partnerships and an unwavering
trust in the creative process. His output has been eclectic, composed
of both recordings as a leader and musical affiliations with other singular
artists, but his body of work has a commonality to it; a trust in the
spontaneity of inspiration and the gestalt that arises when great players
push each other to new creative heights. “ Written by Joel Dorn
on Relationships: The Les McCann Anthology (Atlantic 1993)
All That Jazz but . . . in Persian (YARE DIRIN), my new release, is a
project that has been on my mind for many years, since American Jazz has
penetrated my soul in much the same way that Persian music has been embedded
in my archetype. After singing countless Persian folk songs and other
forms of Persian music, followed by learning and performing Western Classical
music and subsequently performing the music of Broadway and Cabaret on
various stages in different parts of the world, I found myself still fascinated
with an old hunger to somehow interpret the richly textured American Jazz
idiom through a Persian lens.
From the moment I arrived in America I felt embraced by its culture and
yearned to better understand my new home by exploring its varied forms
of music. Since so many of the “Persian Americans” I have
met here share the same curiosity, and since so many of the Americans
who so generously welcomed us have been interested in Persian language
and music, I thought what better way to accomplish my goal than to sing
soulful Jazz tunes in the soft and romantic Persian language.
This album is the first child of that thought. My hope is that in some
small way it may serve as a bridge to bring these two rich cultures closer
to one another.
When I first sang Persian folk music for Les McCann many years ago, he liked it but laughed when I asked him if it could be performed as American Jazz. When our paths crossed again years later and I told him of my dream to sing American Jazz with Persian lyrics, he didn’t laugh! My heartfelt gratitude to him for producing this recording and showing me with his boundless enthusiasm and creative genius what a true professional is all about. It was a privilege for me to learn and perform under his direction, hopefully while absorbing a few drops from his vast knowledge of the ocean of Jazz culture. I will always be thankful for his teachings, generosity and the gift of having his penetrating voice on this recording. I shall forever treasure the blessings of our friendship that grew and deepened while we worked and laughed together.