Another gorgeous, evocative musical journey from oud master Anouar Brahem who delivers an album of warm, dark sounds and — dancing, organic pulses. The music modulates between eastern and western cultures and disciplines ye... more »t the compositions are unmistakably Brahem s.« less
Another gorgeous, evocative musical journey from oud master Anouar Brahem who delivers an album of warm, dark sounds and
dancing, organic pulses. The music modulates between eastern and western cultures and disciplines yet the compositions are unmistakably Brahem s.
"This is simply incredibly beautiful music. Never mind the genre labels (it's ECM after all) - there are elements of jazz, Arabic music and classical chamber music contained here...but most of all, this is at its heart music from the human soul, and Anouar Brahem's most personal recording in several years...maybe ever. I say `personal' because on this recording you can hear Anouar voicing melodic lines along with his oud playing - not overbearing, not loud, not singing words...but quietly, gently, underscoring the deep source of these pieces. The original music is the voice, after all.
Anouar is accompanied here by three wonderful, sensitive performers - Klaus Gesing (bass clarinet), Björn Meyer (bass, from Nik Bärtsch's Ronin) and Khaled Yassine (darbouka, bender). The four players blend seamlessly into the musical streams that Brahem has composed for this release - they send forth sinuous lines that parallel one moment and intertwine in delicate harmony and counterpoint and rhythm the next. There's not a weak track in the lot - it's one of those discs I know I'll be playing multiple times at each sitting.
Stylistically, the music here falls somewhere between Brahem's last albums (such as the achingly lovely LE PAS DU CHAT NOIR (2002) and THIMAR (1998), with echoes of the more traditionally Arabic music of his early releases tossed into the mix. It's an incredible recording - a good place to start experiencing his work for those who have never heard him, and an essential addition to the collection of those who are already fans. "
Dancing to Arabo-Jazz
Dr. Debra Jan Bibel | Oakland, CA USA | 11/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Until this album, the recordings of Tunisian oudist Anouar Brahem have not interested me, mainly because of the typical subdued, almost minimal ECM sound. I prefer more lively oud taqasim and Western-like improvisations. In "The Astounding Eyes of Rita," Brahem is teamed with three other musicians (Blaus Gesing, Björn Meyer, and Khaled Yassine, playing bass clarinet, bass viol, and bendir and darbouka drums, and the mood is brighter. The rich interplay among the musicians is very fine. The result is an album of quiet beauty, yearning, and fond remembrance. There is a sweetness in this ensemble's music. The album can be compared to those with jazz Lebanese oudist Rabih Abou-Khalil, also produced by ECM's Manfred Eicher, but Brahem's music dances more lightly. A recasting of the classical Arab takht ensemble into a contemporary jazz group, this lovely and memorable album offers great listening for world music and jazz fan alike."
One of Brahem's Best
D. Levy | New York, NY USA | 11/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anouar Brahem has become one of ECM's all-time great recording artists. The Astounding Eyes of Rita continues his stream of wildly diverse releases, this time with a new ensemble that again melds European instruments and sensibility with North African traditional instruments and harmonic ideas.
On this album, there is a unique combination of lower-register instruments -- the oud, contrabass and bass clarinet together occupy a fairly narrow band and reinforce each other. There are more dynamic rhythmic ideas here than on Brahem's last two (superb) albums of Islamo-European art music; those records were slow, dreamy and impressionistic. The Astounding Eyes of Rita has a livelier pulse.
The album is also superbly recorded. One of Brahem's best!"
Anouar is genius!
Kirk S. Kallas | 03/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anouar Brahem is simply put, one of the finest musician/composers alive in the world today. His creations are sublime. Quietly intense, meditative, spontaneous, yet deliberate without any wasted notes or phrases. Anyone interested in serious modern music of exquisite beauty should at least have his last three albums, period. In a world full of 'stuff', here is an artist that remains unclutttered, and focused on his muse. Playing the Turkish oud, combining; piano, accordian, wind instruments, bass, percussion instruments, over the past two decades, Anouar has created a wonderful, essential discography that is continually evolving."
Great music by Anwar Brahem
Dr. Aviv Weinstein | Zikhron Yaaqov Israel | 01/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is about the third album that I hear from this fabulous musician, the music is highly meditative and pleasurable and one can easily find oneself riding camels on a desert dune .The sound of oud and darbouka is great .a pleasant journey for a change from Beirut to Djibouti via the Galilee, inshallah! loved it!"