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Album Review

Palestinian composer and oud player Marwan Abado's music has its roots in the classical Arabic musical tradition. The music is rhythmically unrestricted and works on the improvisational impulses of the musician. His lyrics are often political and based on modern Arabic issues, making him a thought-provoking artist and somewhat of a cult figure in Europe, where throughout the '90s he performed extensively. Although he grew up in Beirut, Marwan Abado learned his instrument in Vienna with the Iraqi maestro Asim Chalabi. It was in Vienna that his music was greeted by a strong and supportive avant-garde and jazz community, which found the depths of Arabic music to be homogenous with the progressive tangents of late 20th century experimental jazz. His unaccompanied vocal and oud playing are best heard on the solo CD Son of the South, and his compositions are equally arresting on this release. The ensemble Abado & Co. formed in 1994 as a quartet; Circles is a complex rhythmic adventure with saxophone and oud playing call-and-response melodies, at moments calling to mind the Thimar collaboration between John Surman and Anouar Brahem. Of the abundant world music releases of similar collaborations between East and West, Circles is an outstanding example of how seemingly disparate musical approaches can blend in a manner that is strikingly progressive and harmonious. Such artistic endeavors are always loaded with social rhetoric that is certainly poignant at the turn of the century.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Palestinian recording artist Marwan Abado relocated from Beirut to Vienna during his late teen years, thanks to the political upheaval that was prevalent in Lebanon during the 1980s. He became a student of the oud in the Austrian city, where he studied with Asim Chalabi, an Iraqi master. Previously he had played the guitar, but in Vienna he started crafting songs as well as combining the poetry of his homeland with his music. His music is based in Taq'sim, a musical tradition that relies on the artist's...
Full bio
Circles, Marwan Abado
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Jazz
  • Released: 01 October 1996

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