Rabih Abou-Khalil / Joachim Kühn / Jarrod Cagwin: Journey to the Centre of an Egg (2006)
Abou-Khalil's oud takes on the persona of a blues guitarist on "I'm Better Off Without You, which finds him expressing heartfelt instrumental wails and moans. Both he and Kühn take their time with this one, letting the spaces grow and giving their vibrant energy plenty of room.
Natwasheh and Kadwasheh finds the two players rambling, as if traveling on a desert caravan to some exotic place far removed from home. This, the longest piece on the program, has the most impact. The moods change from light and airy to crisp and forceful, as both piano and oud sail majestically on their way. Kühn moves to alto saxophone on this exciting number for a dramatic close. Percussionist Jarrod Cagwin's colorful kit, which he utilizes throughout the recording, is augmented by Wolfgang Reisinger's trap drums here and on the next tune.
Folk music plays a considerable role in the creations that Abou-Khalil, Kühn and Cagwin have put together here. The pitch distribution possible from an oud allows Abou-Khalil considerable freedom. Thus, oud, piano and percussion revel in their respective theaters of operation, creating a musical landscape representing influences from a sizable portion of the world's music.
Track Listing: Shrewd Woman; Little Camels; Die Brücke; I’m Better Off Without You; Natwasheh and Kadwasheh; Mango; No Plastic Cups, Please; Sweet and Sour Milk.
Personnel: Rabih Abou-Khalil: oud; Joachim Kühn: piano, alto saxophone; Jarrod Cagwin: drums, frame drum; Wolfgang Reisinger: additional percussion.
Record Label: Enja/Justin Time