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Electric Sufi

Dhafer Youssef

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Album Review

Tunisian-born oud performer/vocalist Dhafer Youssef attains a happy medium while integrating the oud (an Arabic lute instrument) with jazzy grooves and wide-ranging improvisational forums. On this outing, the artist crafts an appealing worldbeat/jazz scenario partly due to his nimble plucking and mood-evoking unison choruses with trumpeter Markus Stockhausen. There's also a drum'n'bass element here, as the leader utilizes the talents of ex-Living Colour rhythmic aces Will Calhoun (drums) and Doug Wimbish (bass). Jazz guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel adds textural patterns to many of these pieces while embarking on a pleasant mainstream jazz-based solo passage on the piece entitled "Farha." Youssef also displays a multi-octave vocal range on several tracks — as he renders wordless vocals that often conjure up notions of religiously inclined mantras. A good portion of this affair features lightly rumbling percussion vamps intertwined with North African modalities and alternating dialogue among the soloists. A nice effort that ages well upon repeated spins.

Biography

Born: 19 November 1967 in Teboulba, Tunisia

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer, composer, and oud player Dhafer Youssef was born in 1967 in Teboulba, Tunisia. The oud is an Arabic lute, a string instrument that can achieve a beautiful...
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Electric Sufi, Dhafer Youssef
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