Press: Inana

Amir ElSaffar Inana Cover“sincere and investigatory… ★★★★½” – John Corbett, Downbeat Magazine

“thoroughly engaging, sensual, and enlightening…★★★★½” – Thom Jurek, AllMusic

“The band navigates ElSaffar’s still-fresh fusion of jazz and maqam with such masterful technical power and vivid lyrical imagination that you almost immediately forget to be engrossed by the novelty of the sound.” – Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

“hypnotic and utterly unique” – Areif Sless-Kitain, TimeOut Chicago

“There are microtones and non-metered passages alongside Western harmonies and restless drum-set grooves. And somehow, it all just feels right. It can be solemn or frenetic, but these elegantly balanced tunes announce new possibilities in global jazz.” – Nate Cavalieri,

“elegant, meditative, refined, and musically adventurous” – Wanda Waterman, The Voice Magazine

“ElSaffar has with this recording established himself as a compositional force to be reckoned with.” – Thomas Stanley, Point of Departure

“Gracefully poised between two worlds, Inana builds upon ElSaffar’s previous accomplishments, establishing an impressive precedent for the creative possibilities of a new global jazz aesthetic.” – Troy Collins, All About Jazz

“ElSaffar’s studies in both jazz and ethnic music have placed him in good stead to carve out a unique place in the current improvised music. His music and musicial concept is clearly evolving, and this is a very exciting development.” – Tim Niland, Jazz and Blues

“★★★★” – Irish Times

“Amir ElSaffar is uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm…ElSaffar’s music [is] the result of engagement across the board, presented with clarity and eloquence.” – The Wire Magazine

“The fun the band is having is visceral: count this among the best albums to come over the transom here this year.” – Lucid Culture

“ElSaffar has been esteemed for a new methodology towards the much-maligned world music genre….[he] is a jazz musician first, introducing his ethnicity (Iraqi) as an integrated part of his aesthetic.” – The New York City Jazz Record