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Anyone looking for an argument in favor of globalization would do well to consider Cyminology, a promising new jazz quartet made up of musicians from Germany, France, and India. The group’s cross-border reach also extends into Iran, where Cyminology’s leader, singer Cymin Samawatie, spent summers as a youth. The daughter of Iranian parents, Samawatie writes lyrics and sings in Farsi, the Persian language widely spoken in Iran. And, if Farsi-language jazz isn’t cross-cultural enough for you, Samawatie’s wordless vocal on “Naagofte,” one of the tracks on Cyminology’s ECM debut As Ney, is reminiscent of the Brazilian singer Flora Purim. What could’ve been multi-culti mush is actually a crisp take on a familiar format: the piano-bass-drums trio fronted by a female vocalist. Were it not for the lyrics and a Middle Eastern tinge to the melodies, Cyminology might sound like an American band that was raised on Keith Jarrett and Nina Simone records. The appeal is, in other words, borderless.
Cyminology performs Friday, 5/15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Community Church, 11451 Braddock Road, Fairfax, Va. $10-12. (703) 745-1030.