From Xinjiang province in the grasslands of western China comes Mamer, a young dombra lute player and singer who charms with his debut CD, Eagle. Mamer, who sings in the Kazakh language, is mesmerizing. It doesn’t matter that you have no idea what the words mean (there are no translated lyrics with the album)—he hypnotizes with his musical capturing of the mood of nomadic life on the grasslands in these modernized reworkings of very old folk songs. Besides dombra, Mamer—who lives part of the year in Beijing these days—also plays jaw harp, guitar, banjo and bazouki on Eagle. He is joined by throat-singer Ilichi, of popular Chinese folk-rock group Hanggai, on the beautiful, lulling “Proverbs.” Banjo superstar Bela Fleck, who made Mamer’s acquaintance on his 2006 tour of China, is featured on “Celebration,” an entertaining “Chinagrass” dueling-banjo-style piece. The closing song, “Mountain Wind,” mixed by late, well-known French composer and record producer Hector Zazou, is made satisfyingly haunting with the addition of Meyrambek on the kobyz (an ancient Kazakh stringed instrument), Matteo Scumaci on theremin and Ilichi on backup throat-singing.