All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

335

Rabih Abou-Khalil / Joachim Kuhn / Jarrod Cagwin: Journey to the Centre of an Egg

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The amount of time that Rabih Abou-Khalil had to wait to receive proper recognition in North America was almost criminal. After amassing ten releases on the German Enja label, the Lebanese oud virtuoso finally penetrated the Western hemisphere through a licensing deal with Montreal's Justin Time and the release of 2004's border-bridging sextet effort, Morton's Foot.

And so expectations are high for this more intimate trio followup, which prominently features German pianist/co-composer Joachim Kühn (who plays alto saxophone on one track) and American percussionist Jarod Cagwin, a specialist in North African and Middle Eastern styles. Wolfgang Reisinger pitches in with trap drums on two tracks, most notably adding a mad, off-kilter swing to "Mango."

Working with Rabih Abou-Khalil is tricky business since he incorporates such a wide range of styles into his music. He doesn't just adapt the oud to a jazz context, he warps and stretches the fabric of improvisation and composition to incorporate a variety of Mediterranean influences. It's surreal to hear these musicians play the blues on the opening "Shrewd Woman," for example, which is based on a shuffling vamp that provides entrances and exits for the oudist's dovetailed minor scales.

Two long pieces at the center of this recording take their time to allow the group to progress, subtly shifting modes from time to time and taking full advantage of the range of colors in Cagwin's kit. "I'm Better Off Without You" moves lightly and elegantly, in contrast to the episodic, at times dizzying "Natwasheh and Kadwasheh." Kühn plays assertively and interactively, introducing jazz references and picking up the alto for a fiery burst toward the end.

Like Morton's Foot, this recording credits sound engineer Walter Quintus along with the musicians, which is a little unusual, but Quintus has a real talent for capturing the immediacy, detail, and color of these pieces. The record sounds unusually warm and crisp, which you can really appreciate when you pay close attention—which is generally a good idea anyway, if you want to get the most out of this intelligent, involving multicultural music.


Track Listing: Shrewd Woman; Little Camels; Die Br

Personnel: Rabih Abou-Khalil: oud; Joachim K

Title: Journey To The Centre Of An Egg | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Enja/Justin Time

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Stillness & Sirens" CD/LP/Track Review Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Veterans of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "When It All Makes Sense" CD/LP/Track Review When It All Makes Sense
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 3, 2018
Read "Great Lakes" CD/LP/Track Review Great Lakes
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Melodious Drum" CD/LP/Track Review Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Surface of Inscription" CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017