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Ibrahim Maalouf - Wind (2012)

Jazz | Author: jonson | 20-02-2013, 16:38
Ibrahim Maalouf - Wind (2012)
Artist: Ibrahim Maalouf
Title Of Album: Wind
Year Of Release: 2012
Label: Mi'ster Productions
Genre: Contemporary Jazz, World Fusion
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue,scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 62:31
Total Size: 366 mb
WebSite: amazon


01. Doubts
02. Suspicions
03. Waiting
04. Questions & Answers
05. Waiting 2
06. Excitement
07. Certainly
08. Sensuality
09. Issues
10. Surprises
11. Doubts 2
12. Mistery

Ibrahim Maalouf - quarter tone trumpet
Frank Woeste - piano
Mark Turner - saxophone
Larry Grenadier - double bass
Clarence Penn - drums

Ibrahim Maalouf’s fourth album, Wind, originated from a commission to write a soundtrack for Ren? Clair’s 1927 silent film The Prey of the Wind.
But it was directly inspired by another soundtrack long admired by the Beirut-born, now Paris-based trumpeter: Miles Davis’ iconic score for Louis Malle’s 1958 noir classic, Ascenseur Pour L’?chafaud.
On pieces like the Doubts, the influence is absolutely unmistakable: a laconic blues with Maalouf blowing sweet and melancholy, with more than a hint of the young Miles’ haunted vulnerability.
It’s lent further nocturnal mystery by the effortlessly laidback accompaniment of the crack team of New York sidemen assembled for the album: bassist Larry Grenadier, saxophonist Mark Turner and drummer Clarence Penn, as well as Maalouf’s longstanding collaborator, pianist and co-arranger, Frank Woeste. They form an acoustic quintet dripping with mid-20th century insouciance. Yet there’s more to this project than merely recreating 1950s black and white cool. Maalouf’s instrument of choice is the quartertone trumpet, which features an extra, fourth valve, enabling him to incorporate microtonal intervals more commonly heard in Middle Eastern music.
Thus, the smouldering, offbeat groove of Suspicions carries a heavily spiced hook, played by Maalouf and Turner in tight unison, transforming it into a street dance in the Arab Quarter. Elsewhere, Questions & Answers feels like a Balkan-flavoured take on the tumbling circularity of The Jazz Messengers’ Wheel Within a Wheel. Excitement features a stumbling rhythm and Maalouf’s melodramatic exclamations come across like a parody of Charles Mingus’ satirical swipe, Fables of Faubus.
But it’s on some of the slower, more spacious pieces that Maalouf’s artistry with the quartertone really cuts through. On Waiting, a minimalist background of drizzling brushes and a stark, two-note bass riff provides the context for delicate, upward-arching vocal inflections, like an Arabesque crooner singing with seductively gentle control.
And on Certainly, a loose and lush contemporary ballad setting – featuring some beautifully paced piano comping from Woeste – lets Maalouf ease off on the Arabic dialect and play with a soft, sighing accent, like a homesick visitor on the streets of New York.
It all adds up to a very satisfying cultural exchange.
(Daniel Spicer, BBC)
As Ibrahim himself tells it: "I wanted to reproduce that mysteriously melancholic atmosphere, dripping with suspense, contributing a discreet yet powerful arabic hue, blended into the typical jazz quintet played for many years by Miles' mythical quintet.
The album was recorded in New York City in half a day. Each piece was recorded in a single sitting. There are no post production tricks. The mixing was carried out the following day in the same studio. I also chose to work with jazz musicians able to flirt with my arabic sounds, without being destabilized.
The New York team is a trio composed of Larry Grenadier (bass), Clarence Penn (drums) and Mark Turner (saxophone). These musicians are greatly respected both in traditional and avant-garde jazz circles for their openness of mind, their creativity and their musicality. I also wanted to involve the pianist Frank Woeste, for the arrangements, so as to be as «accurate» as possible in my musical approach. Frank is also an excellent arranger and jazz composer."

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