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European Jazz Conference 2017

Read "European Jazz Conference 2017" reviewed by Ian Patterson

European Jazz Conference 2017 Cankarjev dom jny: Ljubljana, Slovenia September 21-24, 2017 The snow-capped mountains flanking Ljubljana form a natural border between Slovenia and Italy and provided a picturesque backdrop to the 4th annual European Jazz Conference. For the record two hundred and twenty conference attendees [Europe Jazz Network members and guests] the sun shone and the air was cool. The handsome Slovenian capital, with its bicycle-friendly, litter-free streets felt serene as tourists strolled ...

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Rabih Abou Khalil: Bridging Cultural Divides

Read "Rabih Abou Khalil: Bridging Cultural Divides" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Rabih Abou Khalil is one of the most respected virtuoso oud players and composers whose wide range of interests and insatiable curiosity for new music from around the globe has significantly enriched his own work. His music is his own universe where an ongoing dialogue between Khalil and the rest of the world has been occurring. He was born and raised in the cosmopolitan climate of Beirut, Lebanon, before the civil war that ravaged his homeland forced him to leave ...

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Rabih Abou Khalil and Penelope X at the Bitola World Music Festival 2013

Read "Rabih Abou Khalil and Penelope X at the Bitola World Music Festival 2013" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Rabih Abou Khalil/Penelope X Bitola World Music Festival NU Centar za Kultura Bitola, Macedonia November 9, 2013 Bitola, one of the most beautiful cities in southeastern Europe, is a place that ignites the imagination immediately. With its tasteful and stylish architecture reflected in multicolored facades and European honorary consulates, it displays the city's rich history that stretches back into ancient times. The city blossomed most during the rule of the ...

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Rabih Abou-Khalil: Em Portugues

Read "Em Portugues" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Musical alchemist, oud virtuoso and springer of surprises, Rabih Abou-Khalil has never been shy about immersing himself into challenging musical environments. So the suggestion by Ricardo Pais, director of the Teatro Nacional Sao Joao, Porto to have Abou-Khalil write music to the words of five Portuguese poets represented an irresistible challenge. The project sees Abou-Khalil utilizing a singer for the first time--the impressive fadoist Ricardo Ribeiro. Em Portugues however, is not fado, but a marriage between its poetic, blues spirit ...

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Rabih Abou-Khalil: Songs For Sad Women

Read "Songs For Sad Women" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Showing respect and audacity in equal measure, the music of Lebanese oud player/composer Rabih Abou-Khalil has always stretched musical boundaries and traversed time. His is a music which embraces tradition, and challenges it. On Songs for Sad Women Abou-Khalil marshals a stripped-down ensemble which plays with air akin to intimate chamber music, yet with the soul of timeless folk music.

The combination of Armenian 'duduk,' (a double-reed instrument related to the cornet whose origins pre-date both Christianity and Islam), the ...

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Rabih Abou-Khalil / Joachim K: Journey to the Centre of an Egg

Read "Journey to the Centre of an Egg" reviewed by Jim Santella

With a program of compositions by Rabih Abou-Khalil and Joachim Kühn, Journey to the Centre of an Egg shifts to various parts of the globe, combining mainstream jazz with world music. Most of the flavor in their creations centers on the Middle Eastern tradition. This comes as no surprise, since Abou-Khalil was born in Lebanon and lived there until adulthood. But the session also includes flavors from other areas, including Spain, the Caribbean, South Africa, and parts of South America.

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

Read "Journey to the Centre of an Egg" reviewed by AAJ Staff

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 ...

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Rabih Abou-Khalil: Morton

Read "Morton" reviewed by Jim Santella

Lebanese oud master Rabih Abou-Khalil leads this exciting sextet through a session of his originals. The music, while carrying a distinctive Middle Eastern flavor, can only be called jazz. The group's spontaneity and fresh drive introduce elements that we only find in that portion of the arts where improvisation reigns supreme and swing weaves itself around every phrase.

With the title track, vocalist Gavino Murgia recalls the unique jaw harp drones and guttural emanations that were fostered so ...

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Rabih Abou-Khalil: Morton's Foot

Read "Morton's Foot" reviewed by AAJ Staff

It's not enough for Lebanese oud player Rabih Abou-Khalil to bring the Middle Eastern oud tradition to his reinvented version of world jazz. He also brings in the accordion (in the hands of Luciano Biondini, an Italian) for European emphasis, the tuba (Frenchman Michel Godard) for a touch of New Orleans funk, and bass vocals (Sardinian Gavino Murgia) for pure exoticism. The international ensemble that performs on Morton's Foot brings its array of influences together for a freeform improv-rich jam ...

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Rabih Abou-Khalil: Morton's Foot

Read "Morton's Foot" reviewed by John Kelman

The definition of jazz is often a hotly contested topic. A more parochial view has it rooted in black American folk music, with somewhat narrow criteria that revolve around certain harmonies and rhythms. A broader view has it based in an improvisational spirit that can be rooted in the folk music of any country. Whether it is the unbridled passion of the Latin heart or the icy cool of the Scandinavian fjord, jazz is where you find it. ...