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...
The outstanding clarity of Anouar Brahem's new trio record demonstrates the composer's ability to combine several cultural influences without sounding contrived or disjointed. For this project, Brahem composed 12 pieces for the most unusual combination of piano, accordion, and oud (a type of lute). The music came out of a long period of listening and composing on piano in Tunis, where Brahem found himself unable to return to his voice on the oud after an intense session for 1997's Thimar. As he developed his ideas, Brahem returned to the oud and assembled a final version which also includes pianist François Couturier and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier.
What's most remarkable and surprising about Le Pas Du Chat Noir ("the black cat's footsteps") is that music composed with such attention to detail can be transmitted through the right hands into a thoroughly improvised feel. Make no mistake, this is chamber music: understated, deliberate small-group interplay. But at the same time, it offers dramatic waves of sound that wash ashore in tidal fashion. The overtones of the string instruments here allow an effective means to color notes, while the accordion provides a feeling of breath and inspiration. As for the trans-cultural underpinnings of Le Pas Du Chat Noir, it's hard to separate the intertwined strandsas hard as it is to dissect the culture of Tunisia itself. But the rhythms suggest the striding pulse of North Africa and the lilting lightness of Eastern Europe; the harmonies often occupy the ground of Northern European neoclassical minimalism; and melodies regularly take advantage of the minor modes of Arab and Middle Eastern music. (And, of course, each instrument brings with it a specific musical tradition, in this specific case straddling the boundaries that make up post-colonial Tunisian musical culture.)
Le Pas Du Chat Noir is a recording of exquisite sensitivity and nuance, tilted toward composition despite an palpable improvisational feel. Brahem has thrown a most unusual cocktail of musical elements into his blender in order to create this chamber music. The record may deviate far enough from the jazz tradition to disappoint die-hard afficionados of improvised solos, standards, and swing. But if you're willing take Le Pas at face value, it's mesmerizingly beautiful.
Track Listing: Le pas du chat noir; De tout ton coeur; Leila au pays du carrousel;
Pique-nique a Nagpur; C'est ailleurs; Toi qui salt; L'arbre qui voit; Un point
bleu; Les ailes du Bourak; Rue du Départ; Leila au Pays du Carrousel (Variation); Déjà la Nuit.
Personnel: Anouar Brahem: oud; François Couturier: piano; Jean-Louis Matinier: accordion.
I love jazz because I love the freedom.
I met guitarists Oscar Aleman and Larry Carlton.
The best show I ever attended was Les Paul at Iridium Jazz Club.
The first jazz record I bought was by vibraphonist Lionel Hampton.
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!