4 weeks ago
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Anouar Brahem is a Tunisian oud player creating a haunting mix of jazz and Arabic folk music. The oud is basically a fretless Arabic lute, and its sound is very much unique in jazz. I can say without any doubt that Brahem does not play his instrument as a novelty item, but fully implements it as a jazz solo instrument, playing gorgeous melodies tinged with Arabic music but never getting a New Age vibe.
The unusual sound of the record is further augmented by the backing band: piano by Francois Couturier and accordion by Jean-Louis Matinier. The piano is mostly midrange, creating the atmosphere that ECM is famous for. Any fan of ambient should download this, it is a great offering of melancholy, atmospheric jazz that doesn't go the way of Bohren & der Club of Gore.
I'll definitely be checking out more of Brahem.