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

DON CUNNINGHAM: Exotic and erotic lounge-jazz in a Playboy world

DON CUNNINGHAM: Exotic and erotic lounge-jazz in a Playboy world

Some albums come with a great back-story. There have been books written about Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. The recording of a Britney Spears album might... > Read more

Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (Blue Note/Universal)

Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (Blue Note/Universal)

The most commonly held opinion about this classic Blue Note album from 1958 by alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley -- his only album on the label -- is that he is outshone by his famous sideman... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN MOANA MANIAPOTO shares her 2016 APRA Hall of Fame induction speech

GUEST MUSICIAN MOANA MANIAPOTO shares her 2016 APRA Hall of Fame induction speech

Editor's note: On the evening of  September 29, Moana Maniapoto was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame at the APRA Silver Scroll awards. This was an acknowledgement of decades of... > Read more

Various Artists: Born into This; The Music of Rattle (Rattle)

Various Artists: Born into This; The Music of Rattle (Rattle)

As regular readers of these pages will know (Ha! Always wanted to say that), the Auckland-based label Rattle -- and its imprint Rattle Jazz -- have been Firm Favourites at Elsewhere for delivering... > Read more