Georges Kazazian is an oud player grounded in both classical and popular Egyptian instrumental music. Kazazian has recently been involved in several European productions that are mixing world and ambient artists. Listening to Sabil (The Path), it's not hard to see why Kazazian's innovative music would appeal to this crowd. The title song, for example, mixes the sounds of Kazazian's oud trio with cello, arghoul (an ancient double reed bamboo instrument) and flute. The composition's source is classical Arabic music. But all the musicians are given ample room to offer their own improvisations on this Eastern-sounding piece. Another outstanding track, "Nafass," features a particularly probing musical line by kanoun player Anahid Sarkissian which is then picked up and commented on by the arghoul and the flute. On "Madad," a particularly creative piece, trumpet player Yasser Moawad takes the musical lead. It's the first time I've heard this instrument used in Arabic music.
Sabil is a rewarding musical voyage. The musicians are playing in a groove with lots of exciting flashes of musical inspiration. The vitality and integrity of the compositions will pique Western sensibilities. - Aaron Howard
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