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Album Review

This starkly beautiful collection of 13 tracks by Tunisian composer Anouar Brahem is his debut release for the ECM label. The album spotlights Brahem's solo oud pieces, which range from the meditative ("Sadir") to the propulsive ("Ronda"). This solo work is nicely augmented by stellar contributions from violinist Bechir Selmi and percussionist Lassad Hosni; Selmi is featured on the transcendent "Barzakh," while Hosni figures prominently on "Souga" and "Bou Naouara." The three musicians come together for the joyous dance number "Parfum de Gitane." Throughout Barzakh, Brahem and the others forge an appealing mix of Middle Eastern sonorities and jazz phrasing, an intimate sound perfectly suited to the clean and spacious ECM recording style. This is a great title for fans of both international music and jazz.


Born: 20 October 1957

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The role of the Arabic, lute-like, stringed instrument, the oud, has been revolutionized through the playing of Anouar Brahem. While used in the past to accompany vocalists, the oud is used by Brahem as an imaginative solo instrument. In 1988, Tunisian newspaper Tunis-Hebdo wrote, "If we had to elect the musician of the '80s, we would have, without the least hesitation, chosen Anouar Brahem." Brahem has composed numerous pieces for such films and musical theater productions such as Sabots en Or,...
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Barzakh, Anouar Brahem
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