Graham Reid | | <1 min read
It may be some time before the soul of Iraq is settled but if anyone can bring the traditional music of that troubled country to international attention it is Baghdad-born Alhaj who fled Saddam Hussein's regime to Jordan then Syria, and now lives in New Mexico.
A graduate with honours in music, he has been playing oud since he was nine and has been giving concerts since he was 14.
This is a well annotated collection of improvisations on traditional pieces which, in many places, sounds like Indian ragas.
The oud has a mesmerisingly exotic sound and these nine tracks (average length about seven minutes) can be utterly transporting.
Music to settle the soul and feed the imagination.