World jazz with influences from the Middle-East
Free Jazz Blog
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
As written before, I love Arabic music, I love the scales, the rhythms, the long improvisations and most of all the emotional power coupled with a deep spiritual longing. I also like - not all, but some of it - of the real worldjazz efforts by Arab musicians such as Anouer Brahem, Dhafer Youssef (both from Tunesia), Rabih Abou-Khalil and Marcel Khalife (both from Lebanon), and many more.
Some new albums go in the same direction and are worth mentioning.
Ayman Fanous & Jason Kao Hwang - Zilzal (Innova, 2013) ****½
Although it starts in a very traditional way, guitarist and bouzouki-player Ayman Fanouz and violinist Jason Kao Hwang quickly turn expectations upside down, extracting the ingredients from tradition, deconstructing forms and re-integrating them in another kind of beauty, the one in which new sounds arise from nowhere, shattering the calm contempative nature of the first track into short bursts of agony and distress. "Zilzal" means earthquake, and that is what you get in some tracks.
This is not world music. It isn't jazz either. This is music with ambition. Ambitions of beauty, artistic ambitions, for new forms of sounds, new ways to express things, full of emotional depth, with emotions that are too complex to be canvassed in old forms, too elusive to be captured in patterns, too deep to be expressed in shallow tunes.