Georgian Jedi

Ansambl Fazisi

Fasizi

Georgian music

11 singers, all men

fazisi_back

Is this a prehistoric iPhone design?

fazisi_inside, Russian arrest warrant

5 most wanted men — the arrest warrant is on the right.

Low cranium Caucasian male

Low cranium, squished thoughts.

Soviet hero

Band leader Jumber Kolbaia is a shrewd man.

fazisi_songs

What the duck? No wonder the music sucks. You can’t even read the song titles.

“The Georgian people and song are inseparable” say the liner notes of this double album. As you may have guessed, this isn’t Georgia, USA they are talking about but the far flung Republic of Georgia on the shores of the Black Sea.

Since the record was released in 1987 the fine men of Fazisi ensemble have probably become tribal elders in their respective villages. The photos inside are quite telling. I love Mr. Egghead with low clearance cranium. His entire face looks like it’s drawn on a balloon. Then there is Jumber Kolbaia the band leader. Jumber was probably educated in Moscow as a concert pianist and after a minor infraction against the party rule sent back down to Tbilisi. Jumber had to trade the 88 black and white piano keys for a single string instrument and assert himself as a Vlad of a folk group.

The music of Fasizi is not for everyone. I don’t want to sound elitist but you won’t like it. I don’t like it either. It’s kind of music you’d want to play at a funeral — maybe your mother-in-law’s funeral. The songs are not really sad, or maybe they are since I have no idea what they’re singing about. It all just sounds disturbing like fingernails scratching a blackboard. Go get your ear plugs because you are going to need them if you click here.

Funny enough, several songs are identified as “wedding songs” and there are just as many “work songs.” Life is not easy in Georgia. The daily drudgery is personified in the music of Fazisi. I love Georgian folk music because it harbors no cynicism. Why should they sing uplifting songs when 50 acres of rock laden soil need to be tilled with bare hands? Why celebrate an arranged marriage of a twelve-year-old with a silly love song? That’s honesty.

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