Quraishi’s second album, Mountain Melodies, invites you to enjoy pure Afgan traditional music with no electronic effects. Unique in its richness, range, and variety, Afghan music evokes a strong sense of place. You can hear the land in the intricacies of the music, from the vastness of wild mountains in the rhythms to the loneliness of the desert in the melodies. And while an Indian influence can be heard in the ragas and instrumentation, traces of the Silk Road era — from China and the Far East — are also evident in the simple and haunting strains of pentatonic scales. But if one listens closely, there is also the hint of something more; the minor scales of the Middle East and the intricate melodies that intertwine like Greek rebetika recall the playfulness and invention of Celtic music, the soulfulness of the American blues, and even the improvisations of modern jazz.