Nach einer längeren kreativen Pause legt der tunesische Oudmeister Anouar Brahem sein neues Album »The Astounding Eyes Of Rita« vor.
Acht melodische Stücke orientieren sich wieder verstärkt an arabischen Traditionen und bringen jene geheimnisvoll dunklen Klangwelten zu Gehör, wie sie seit »Thimar« oft mit Anouar Brahem assoziiert werden. Mit dabei sind u. a. Bassist Björn Meyer (Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin) und Klarinettist Klaus Gesing (Norma Winstone Trio), die »The Astounding Eyes Of Rita« zu einem rhythmisch äußerst lebendigen Album mit offenem europäischen Jazzfeeling machen.
Delightful new project, assembled by Tunisian oud master Brahem with producer Manfred Eicher. Combination of bass clarinet with oud suggests a link to Anouar’s “Thimar” trio, but this East / West line-up often feels closer to the more traditionally-inclined sounds of “Barzakh” or “Conte de l’Incroyable Amour”. Klaus Gesing, from Norma Winstone’s Trio, and Björn Meyer, from Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, are both players with an affinity for musical sources beyond jazz, and they interact persuasively inside Brahem’s music. A dance of dark, warm sounds, urged onward by the darbouka and frame drum of Lebanaese percussionist Khaled Yassine. The album is dedicated to the memory of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
"Albums as perfect as this appear rarely. Tunisian oud maestro Brahem has been one of ECM’s most-revered artists for years, pioneering a superior kind of east-west fusion. But this quartet recording beats anything I’ve heard from him yet. Dedicated to the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, the album’s eight originals trace a continuous arabesque, wind and strings intertwining against a trance-like rhythmic pulse." (Phil Johnson, The Independent)
"The continuity with previous Brahem work is the lightness of touch with which the pieces are executed, the largely Middle Eastern modal structures being a basis for spare, condensed improvisations, and the charm of much of the music comes from the extremely careful placement of the solo flourish." (Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise)
"Cultures caress rather than clash here, thanks mostly to the centralizing force of Brahem’s fluid and sensitive touch on his instrument, his improvisational fluency and his meditative yet sturdy compositions. … Brahem’s continuing saga makes for one of the more interesting, rewarding and successful experiments on the dangerous and successful experiments on the dangerous turf where so-called “world music” and jazz meet." (Josef Woodard, Jazz Times)
"Although Brahem’s music is grounded in the traditions that have grown up around the oud over centuries…, his hybridization of those traditions with the ways of European and American jazz have made his extremely individual canon pointedly modern, and very much an example of a genuine world music. Brahem and Gesing’s beguiling interplay – a mystical poetry… – could not exist without rhythmic drive, supplied here… by Swedish bassist Björn Meyer and Lebanes percussionist Khaled Yassine." (Robert Baird, Stereophile)
"Here he brings together the unusual ensemble of bass clarinet, bass guitar and Middle Eastern hand percussion to complement his oud playing. Their sparse, low registers leave space for his understated melodies to shine through. … The Astounding Eyes of Rita shows a confidence and clarity of purpose that sets Anouar Brahem apart from all others. It is dedicated to the memory of the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish: if only we could be all assured of such a beautiful epitaph." (Bill Badley, Songlines)
"Mit Bassklarinettist Klaus Gesing, Bassist Björn Meyer und Perkussionist Khaled Yassine entfaltet er eine Welt voller Geheimnisse, so verschlungen und undurchdringlich wie eine morgenländische Medina oder eine mittelalterliche Arabeske. Doch … trotzdem ist diese Musik leicht und transparent. Brahem und seinem ungewöhnlichen Team gelingt es, gerade aus der Vereinbarkeit des Unvereinbaren lyrisches Kapital zu schlagen." (Wolf Kampmann, Jazzthing)