World Fusion / Third Stream / Bossa Nova • Tunisia
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The role of the Arabic, lute-like, stringed instrument, the oud, has been revolutionalized through the playing of Anouar Brahem. While used in the past to accompany vocalists, the oud is used by Brahem as an imaginative solo instrument. In 1988, Tunisian newspaper, "Tunis-Hebdo", wrote, "If we had to elect the musician of the 80s, we would have, without the least hesitation, chosen Anouar Brahem". The British daily newspaper, "The Guardian", that Brahem was "at the forefront of jazz because he is far beyond it".

Encouraged by his music-loving father, Brahem began studying the oud, at the age of ten, when he enrolled at the National Conservatory of Music. For nearly a decade, he studied with influential oud player Ali Sitri. By the age of fifteen, he was playing well enough to perform regularly with local orchestras. Although he initially focused on Arabic music, Brahem increasingly incorporated elements of jazz. This
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ANOUAR BRAHEM albums / top albums

ANOUAR BRAHEM Barzakh album cover 4.12 | 3 ratings
World Fusion 1991
ANOUAR BRAHEM Conte de l'incroyable amour album cover 4.04 | 4 ratings
Conte de l'incroyable amour
World Fusion 1992
ANOUAR BRAHEM Khomsa album cover 3.58 | 3 ratings
World Fusion 1995
ANOUAR BRAHEM Thimar (with John Surman / Dave Holland) album cover 4.47 | 10 ratings
Thimar (with John Surman / Dave Holland)
World Fusion 1998
ANOUAR BRAHEM Astrakan Café album cover 4.50 | 9 ratings
Astrakan Café
World Fusion 2000
ANOUAR BRAHEM Le pas du chat noir album cover 4.38 | 8 ratings
Le pas du chat noir
World Fusion 2002
ANOUAR BRAHEM Le Voyage De Sahar album cover 4.54 | 4 ratings
Le Voyage De Sahar
World Fusion 2006
ANOUAR BRAHEM The Astounding Eyes Of Rita album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Astounding Eyes Of Rita
World Fusion 2009
ANOUAR BRAHEM Souvenance - Music for oud, quartet and string orchestra album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Souvenance - Music for oud, quartet and string orchestra
Third Stream 2014
ANOUAR BRAHEM Blue Maqams album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Blue Maqams
World Fusion 2017
ANOUAR BRAHEM Anouar Brahem Trio : Bossanova Lover album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anouar Brahem Trio : Bossanova Lover
Bossa Nova 2022


ANOUAR BRAHEM live albums

ANOUAR BRAHEM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ANOUAR BRAHEM re-issues & compilations

ANOUAR BRAHEM Vague album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
World Fusion 2003

ANOUAR BRAHEM singles (0)

ANOUAR BRAHEM movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


ANOUAR BRAHEM The Astounding Eyes Of Rita

Album · 2009 · World Fusion
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'The Astounding Eyes Of Rita' is Anouar Brahem eigth album released as a leader in eighteen years of collaboration with ECM. In 'The Astounding Eyes Of Rita'(the title is a reference to a poem by the late poet Mahmoud Darwish to whom the album is dedicated) Anouar Brahem brings in a new team of players-German bass clarinetist Klaus Gesing, Swedish bassist Björn Meyer [Nik Bartsch] and percussionist Khaled Yassine.The result is a livelier and more modern music with a richer sound( less solos or duos) and more jazzier than his earlier releases. Although the album has some great songs- the title track, 'The Lover Of Beirut' and 'Galilee Mon Amour', I find it less atractive than his top albums(IMO-Thimar,Astrakan and 'Le Pas Du Chat Noir')-I just miss the aching beauty of 'Le Pas Du Chat Noir'. Still a strong album which would please the fans, I don't know many artists who released in a row eight albums of such beauty.

ANOUAR BRAHEM Le Voyage De Sahar

Album · 2006 · World Fusion
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I guess the saying 'you don't change a winning team' was not strange to Anouar Brahem because for 'Le Voyage Du Sahare' he keeps the winning team of 'Le Pas Du Chat Noir', Francois Couturier on piano and Jean Louis Matinier on accordion. This time there is not any information regarding what instrument was used for the composition process but the oud regains front stage.

The music here sounds closer to Tunis and Moorish Spain than Paris, but it has the same ethereal beauty of music born out of silence.While 'Astrakan Cafe' and 'Le Pas Du Chat Noir' make an impact on the first listen, "Le Voyage Du Sahare' is a grower it's beauty revealing itself slowly with each listening. Beside the new compositions, Brahem revisits two older tracks-Vague/Et La Nave va from 'Khomsa' and 'Halfouine' from 'Astrakan Cafe', both among the highlights of this album together with 'Cordoba' and 'Ete Andalous'.

'Le Voyage...' brought Anouar Brahem the prestigious Edison Award in the World Music category.A bit ironic since refering to the 'world music' labeling his music gets, Anouar Brahem said: "This designation annoys me more and more. It is neither a movement nor a particular aesthetic, it is nothing more than a marketing label for record stores in the western world. It would be the same if you are in a record store in Egypt, Pierre Boulez, Keith Jarrett and Britney Spears together in ' world music sort 'would'.

Another essential Anouar Brahem album, recommended to lovers of good music, although jazz purists and fans of avant-garde music probably enjoy less this kind of music despite it's magic beauty.


Album · 2000 · World Fusion
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For his fifth release in nine years on ECM as a leader, Anouar Brahem is joined by Barbaros Erköse on clarinet and Lassad Honsi on bendir, darbouka. 'Astrakan Cafe' continues the musical line of 'Barzakh' and 'Conte...' but the music here is more dynamic and more dramatic, has more oud-appeal. Oriental melodies, airy, mystical, haunting...And yes, this is not jazz(even Anouar Brahem says it...), and no, it doesn't matter, because this music is from another world...the magical world of 1001 nights and Ali-Baba ... Just listen to the whirling(dervish like) clarinet sounds and the hypnotic darbouka in 'Ahkabad'(collective composition), or to Brahem's magical oud on 'Astrakan Cafe' or 'Nihawend Lunga'.No weak tracks on this one. Recorded at St. Gerold monastery in Austria it has the famous ECM sound quality. 'Astrakan Cafe' introduced me into the magic world of Anouar Brahem's music and it was love at first hearing. One of the essential Brahem albums ( together with 'Thimar' and "Le Pas Du Chat Noir' )

ANOUAR BRAHEM Thimar (with John Surman / Dave Holland)

Album · 1998 · World Fusion
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'Thimar' is Anouar Brahem fourth ECM release as a leader.Despite having in the line-up two top jazz players as John Surman and Dave Holland, 'Thimar' isn't really a jazz album but probably comes closer to jazz than any of his other albums. It is one of those ECM albums with beautiful music that some jazz purists love to hate ( no drumming, not innovating enough, music too beautiful, etc...). Their loss.

Nine of the tacks are Brahem's compositions in which he provides plenty of room for improvisation. The two non Brahem compositions ( 'Mazad' composed by Dave Holland and 'Kernow' by John Surman) proove just how well the guest musicians(who come from very different backgrounds than Brahem's ) connected to the album's spirit.

With three virtuoso players like Anouar Brahem, John Surman and Dave Holland ECM couldn't go wrong.In Germany, 'Thimar' received the “Preises der Deutschen Shallplattenkritik , the English magazine Jazz Wise named it “Best jazz album of the year” and the trio still tour the globe with 'Thimar' .

Stunning music that is hard to describe ( "East meets West" is a too simplistic definition), the best way is to experience it as someone said.Pure beauty that can make you an addict.

'Thimar' (together with "Astrakan Cafe' and "Le Pas Du Chat Noir')is one of Brahem's best albums (I guess everyone has his favourite, for me it is hard to pick one winner from these three masterpieces). Music that should be explored by more than just world music lovers.


Album · 1995 · World Fusion
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Released in 1995, 'Khomsa' is Anouar Brahem fourth release for ECM and his third as a leader (in 1994 ECM released 'Madar' where Anouar Brahem plays along Jan Garbarek and Ustad Shaukat Hussain) Just by looking at the line-up for this album you can tell it's a different story.Gone are the oriental players from the first two albums(excepting violin player Bechir Selmi). Their place is taken by a stellar eclectic team of european jazz musicians-Richard Galliano on accordion, Palle Danielson on double bass, John Christenssen on drums, Francois Couturier on piano/synthesizer( starting here what will be a long collaboration with Anouar Brahem) and Jean Marc Larche on soprano saxophone .This great musicians combo never plays together, rather you will hear solos, duets or trio playing according to Brahem's compositions. In his prolific activity before ECM launchd him on the international scene, Anouar Brahem wrote music for many plays and movies.For 'Khomsa' he selcted sixteen of these compositions which he wanted for a long time to perform in a free manner( “freed from the chains of images and texts” ). With Anouar Brahem taking a step back as frontman in some of the tracks(a notable change from his previous albums ), Richard Galliano becomes the dominant figure, his accordion adding (surprisingly) a more jazzy sound to this album. For me the highlights of this album are - 'Soufle Un Vent De Sable'(beautiful duo of oud and accordion ), 'Vague', 'E La Nave Va'. Not a bad album but IMHO weaker than all other Brahem albums.

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snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
added/corrected. Thanks
adrim wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Best albums are missing. 1998 - Thimar (with Surman & Dave Holland) and 2000 - Astrakan Cafe.
And also there is a small mistake: Khomsa was recorded in 1994 and came out in 1995 I think.


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