DHAFER YOUSSEF — Abu Nawas Rhapsody (review)

DHAFER YOUSSEF — Abu Nawas Rhapsody album cover Album · 2010 · World Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
idlero
Like his fellow tunisian oud player Anouar Brahem, Dhafer Youssef found his creative home in Europe.Like Anouar Brahem he brings to jazz his cultural heritage, creating a mixture of world and jazz music.Unlike Brahem he is also a passionate singer and in this album it is strongly felt, his (mostly wordless) vocals taking lead over his oud playing. Named after the eighth-century Persian classical poet Abu Nawas this is Dhafer Youssef 4th album and marks a return to the acoustic music together with Tigran Hamasyan on piano, Mark Giuliana on drums and canadian bassist Chris Jennings. Eleven tracks, mostly calm, tender, spiritual music with arabic influences, punctuated by Youssef's soaring vocals, well supported by Jenning's bass and bolstered by Giuliana's powerful drumming. 'Les Ondes Orientales' ,Khamsa and 'Odd Elegy' are some of the best tracks on this album. IMHO the hidden egg of this album is Tigran Hamasyan with his superb ECM-ish playing(personally being an instrumental music lover , I'm less impressed with Youssef's mesmerizing voice). Mark Giuliana proves again he is one the most talented drummers from his generation. With its simple but powerful melodies, 'Abu Nawas Rhapsody' is a great album for East meets West music lovers .
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