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ALBUM REVIEW

Dhafer Youssef: Birds Requiem

Read "Birds Requiem" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Tunisian oud maestro Dhafer Youssef imparts a holistic world music vista, encompassing jazz, rock and spiritual inclinations while retaining the core Arabic modalities on the aurally picturesque Birds Requiem. And his chant-like, resonating vocals entwine mystical attributes with near-flawless control amid passages that induce an impression of sacred exchanges with a higher entity. Blending Souls & Shades touches your heart, emanating from Youssef's sprawling vocals, executed with conviction and soulfulness, followed by trumpeter Nils-Petter Molvaer's spiraling lyricism, leading ...

LIVE REVIEW

Dhafer Youssef: Casablanca, Morocco, April 1, 2013

Read "Dhafer Youssef: Casablanca, Morocco, April 1, 2013" reviewed by Mehdi El Mouden

Dhafer YoussefJazzablanca FestivalCasablanca, MoroccoApril 1, 2013On April 1, 2013, the Jazzablanca Festival audience was in for a unique experience. Programmed on the third day of the festival and subsequent to singer Melody Gardot and Belgium's Vaya Con Dios, singer/oudist Dhafer Youssef traced a journey from mysticism to jazz via rock beats. During the course of 90 minutes, Youssef's voice transported the audience to moments of epiphany where elation and melancholy met, his long vocal solos ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Dhafer Youssef: Abu Nawas Rhapsody

Read "Abu Nawas Rhapsody" reviewed by John Kelman

After two albums exploring the nexus of ages-old Middle Eastern harmony and modernistic electronics, Tunisian-born oudist/vocalist Dhafer Youssef turns to a stripped-down, completely acoustic environs for Abu Nawas Rhapsody. Despite leaving Oslo behind--where, on Digital Prophecy (Enja, 2003) and Divine Shadows (Jazzland, 2006), he collaborated with some of Norway's more intrepid musicians including guitarist Eivind Aarset, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft and trumpeter Arve Henriksen begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting--the Vienna-based Youssef remains associated with the Norwegian scene through his release of the disc on Wesseltoft's ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Dhafer Youssef / Wolfgang Muthspiel: Glow

Read "Glow" reviewed by Chris May

Although it's a dual-leader album, in which oud player Dhafer Youssef's performance is at least as important as that of guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, one of Glow's chief causes for celebration is Muthspiel's on-form presence. After releasing the shimmeringly beautiful Bright Side (Material Records, 2006)--a little-known masterpiece which may yet take its place alongside such jazz guitar iconographs as Johnny Smith's Moonlight In Vermont (Roulette, 1953, reissued 2004) and Wes Montgomery's Incredible Jazz Guitar (Riverside, 1960)--Muthspiel's project with drummer Brian Blade, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Dhafer Youssef: Digital Prophecy

Read "Digital Prophecy" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

The genesis of Digital Prophecy is diaphanously cinematic. With flowing dramatic ardor, “Diaphanes” exudes a strong oud aroma. It’s earthy, simple, relaxed, and suggestively enhanced with dripping and aerial electronic effects from Eivind Aarset, who also gleams on guitar. As Yoda would say of the crescendo caravanesque march of “Aya”—which first exhibit the leader’s haunting Arabic vocals—“Rich in melodic, rhythmic, chordal and harmonic subtleties, insinuated in sensual Middle Eastern over and undertones an album this is.”

Dhafer Youssef ...


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