Anouar Brahem: The Astounding Eyes of Rita (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Anouar Brahem: The Lover of Beirut
Anouar Brahem: The Astounding Eyes of Rita (ECM/Ode)

The previous album posted at Elsewhere by this oud player, Le Voyage de Sahar, was one of the best in his long career and -- as with Le pas du chat noir of 2002 -- confirmed that he was craeting his own genre, a kind of Middle Eastern chamber jazz for oud, piano and accordion.

There was a cool stillness about Le Voyage de Sahar and that mood carries over into this album with a very different line-up.

Here Brahem's oud reaches for the lower and quieter end of the spectrum alongside the woody bass clarinet of Klaus Gesing who brings an exotic stateliness to the slow movements of these pieces. Although there is percussion and bass, there is a feeling of weightlessness here as the oud and clarinet gently lift off and make delicate explorations which frequently sound almost tentative.

This is music which sounds suspended in the spheres and unlike much other oud music at Elsewhere which can be vibrant and vigorous, this conjures up those moments between sleep and waking when the mind drifts.

Not quite the hands down winner that the previous albums mentioned have been, but Brahem once again offers music which is beguiling and singular. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

SHEZ RAJA PROFILED (2011): Jazz with a world view

SHEZ RAJA PROFILED (2011): Jazz with a world view

British jazz bassist Shez Raja confounds expectation in the best possible way. A scan of reviews and comments in the British press for the Shez Raja Collective (which included saxophonist Andy... > Read more

Steve Kuhn: Mostly Coltrane (ECM/Ode)

Steve Kuhn: Mostly Coltrane (ECM/Ode)

Even those jazz listeners not usually drawn to the sound and style of many albums on the ECM label would find the pedigree of the players here, and the topic of their conversation, mighty... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Yasmin Levy: Mano Suave (Adama)

Yasmin Levy: Mano Suave (Adama)

Jerusalem-born Levy created a lot of interest when she appeared at the 2007 Taranaki Womad for her swooning style of Ladino music which comes out of the Spanish/Jewish tradition. What she also... > Read more

Mavis Staples; We'll Never Turn Back (2007)

Mavis Staples; We'll Never Turn Back (2007)

The great gospel-soul singer Mavis Staples -- 76 at the time of this writing -- was a member of the legendary Staples Singers founded by her father Pops Staples, a close personal friend of Dr... > Read more