Anouar Brahem: Al Hizam Al Dhahbi


Al Hizam Al Dhahbi



Thimar (ECM 21641)

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Anouar Brahem (oud), John Surman (soprano sax), Dave Holland (bass).

Composed by Anouar Brahem


Recorded: Oslo, Norway, March 13-15, 1997


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Known for his borderless approach to music, Tunisian oud player Anouar Brahem exemplifies expert fusion of local traditions and jazz aesthetics. Throughout this entire album, English musicians Holland and Surman show remarkable adaptability to Brahem's world. As in most Arabic classical music, the song features both rhythmic and melodic modes that underscore the composed melody and improvisations. Further contextualizing this music within the Arabic tradition, Brahem's only liner notes come by way of an 8th-century Iraqi poet from Basra, the Sufi saint Rabia Al Adawiya. Known for her doctrine of mystical love, Al Adawiya's quoted poem speaks of "incomparable verdant freshness, beauty and magnitude." By ensuring that the music always speaks loudest—free from constraints of nation or convention—Brahem infuses all his work with just these qualities.

Reviewer: Mark Lomanno

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