Anouar Brahem
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Anouar Brahem
Le Pas du chat noir
ECM Records (www.ecmrecords.com)

Brahem's latest work was orignally composed for piano and later fleshed out to include oud and accordion. The mood is mostly reflective, and the modal character of most of the music gives an air of sameness to the pieces. The lack of percussion, usually a feature of Brahem's music, means that things never really catch fire. Although there are a couple of tunes where oud and accordion improvisations add some playfulness, this is largely a music of textures and moods. Some of this reminds me of Keith Jarrett's Spirits album in its folklike simplicity, while some of it verges on pure ambience. Within the limits of the modal approach to composition used here and the sparse instrumentation, the pieces and textures are not quite varied enough and a certain monotony is inevitable. - Joe Grossman

CD available from cdRoots


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