Meet Rahe: Composer/guitarist/multilingual vocalist (she speaks fluent Portuguese and Castilian Spanish), Rahe (pronounced Ray") spent most of her childhood in Japan and Spain (the land of her heritage), before settling in Colorado at 13. Her first profound musical experiences occurred in Andalucia at age five, where she was invited into the Flamenco circles of the gypsies to participate in the palmas (handclapping percussion). Self-taught on the guitar (from the blues of Lightnin' Hopkins to the bossa nova of Joao Gilberto), Rahe began to focus on her own music in her early teens. She received the Single of the ...read more
Originally hailing from Spain, Tucson-based singer-songwriter/guitarist Rahe (pronounced Ray") has rapidly established herself as one of the most noteworthy young talents to emerge in recent years. While not yet a household name, Rahe may quickly change that following the release of her debut, Out of the Box, a musical outing of exceptional creativity matched with heartfelt accessibility.Clocking in at a relatively modest 32 minutes of music, spread out over eight tracks, Out of the Box nevertheless manages to traverse an enormous gamut of styles, including slow burning R&B, flamenco, easygoing acoustic pop, and jazz-infused bossa nova. For many ...read more
The Astounding Eyes of Rita rings to life on four resonant notes from Tunisian oudist Anouar Brahem, joined in short order by the deep, rich tone of Klaus Gesing's bass clarinet. The music sounds ancient, like something from an old civilization, full of past truths that still hold true. Manfred Eicher, the man in charge at ECM Records, has been known to inspire, from talented artists, consistently beautiful and sometimes eccentric (American ethno-centricity speaking) music from unusual instrumental combinations. His ECM sound--with notable exceptions including Keith Jarrett's Standard Trio and Trio Beyond, to name two--leans toward spaciousness and ...read more
In the world of the oud--the fretless, Middle Eastern incarnation of the lute--there are three artists who are moving the instrument--and its centuries-old tradition--forward. Tunisian-born Dhafer Youssef has explored the integration of technology and western classicism on Divine Shadows (Jazzland, 2006), while Lebanese-born Rabih Abou-Khalil has investigated a nexus with horn-driven large ensemble on The Cactus of Knowledge (Enja, 2001). Anouar Brahem, since first emerging on ECM with Barzakh (1991), has explored more nuanced territory, between his longstanding Astrakan Café group and projects like Thimar (ECM, 1998), where Middle Eastern linearity and Western harmony were conjoined, and the chamber setting ...read more
Tunisian oud player Anouar Brahem's eighth solo release, Voyage de Sahar (ECM, 2006), is another testimony to the magnificent way that he manages to weave influences and references from the rich and beautiful heritage of Arabic world with elements of Andalusian music and modern jazz, and to the innovative way in which Brahem suggests the oud as a leading instrument in Western and Arabic music. For the first time in his 15-year relationship with the prestigious German ECM label, Brahem recorded with the same musicians who recorded his last release for label, Le Pas du Chat Noir (ECM, 2002)--French pianist ...read more
Tunisian oudist Anouar Brahem has recorded for ECM since 1990; Le Pas du Chat Noir (2002) achieved the most critical acclaim. The trio which made that record comes together again for Le Voyage de Sahar, creating an understated tour de force that builds on the former album. While the ECM sound" very much helps create the feeling, the image of a spotlight on the trio, otherwise surrounded by darkness, playing to a massive, totally silent, mesmerized audience, keeps appearing. The music creates an intense intimacy as the trio explores a relatively small musical space very deeply. Each ...read more
Many of ECM's standout albums are a result of rich confluences of jazz, classical and world music sensibilities. The authors of those albums have a thorough, deep knowledge and understanding of each tradition, and most of the time the intersections between the different traditions are blessed with good results.
Such is the case with Anouar Brahem. His music clearly dwells in different worlds, deeply rooted in Arabic music yet very open to influences from jazz and classical traditions, among others. Brahem is a master of the oud, the Arabian lute, and he is regarded as Tunisia's most innovative player on ...read more