Archive for the ‘Ibrahim Maalouf’ Category

Ibrahim Maalouf - 2015 - Red and Black Light

« Kalthoum » et « Red & Black Light » sont deux albums en hommage aux femmes.

« RED & BLACK LIGHT» est une ode à la femme d’aujourd’hui et à son rôle fondateur et fondamental pour espérer un avenir meilleur. Les femmes de ma famille ont eu, et ont encore aujourd’hui, une influence incommensurable sur tout mon travail musical. Notamment parce qu’elles m’inspirent considérablement dans leur façon de gérer leur quotidien et celui de leur entourage. Malgré des vies en labyrinthes, complexes et souvent dramatiques, elles portent en elles une force et une stabilité similaires à une forme de transe inébranlable. Elles me donnent l’impression de ne jamais perdre de vue ce qui est essentiel.

Axé sur une esthétique plus actuelle, plus électro, voire pop, cet album est constitué de mes compositions ainsi que d’une reprise de la diva d’aujourd’hui Beyonce. Bien qu’étant particulièrement complexes dans leur écriture (avec des polyrythmies en 19, 17 ou 27 temps par exemple), nous avons arrangé ces musiques (avec les 3 musiciens qui m’entourent), de manière à ce que jamais le poids de l’écriture ne se fasse entendre. Nous avons donc contourné le piège de l’élitisme et de l’écriture scientifique pour élaborer un album transparent et limpide, sur lequel le public peut même danser ou chanter, mais qui regorge néanmoins d’une multitude de superpositions insoupçonnées de thèmes, d’harmonies et de rythmes, que seule une lecture mathématique de l’album pourrait trahir.

Enregistré à Ivry sur seine (France) avec Eric Legnini (Claviers), François Delporte (Guitare) et Stephane Galland (Batterie), cet album est avant tout une envie de dessiner l’importance et la nécessaire complexité des choses et des personnes essentielles


IBrahim Maalouf


  1. Free Spirit (07:01)
  2. Essentielles (03:39)
  3. Goodnight kiss (06:51)
  4. Eléphant’s Tooth (04:37)
  5. Red & Black Light (03:51)
  6. Escape (06:15)
  7. Improbable (05:59)
  8. Run the World (Girls) (03:43)

Duration : 41:53 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2015 | Size : 106 mb

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Ibrahim Maalouf - 2015 - Kalthoum (Alf Leila Wa Leila)

On Kalthoum, French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf presents an enthralling tribute to one of Egypt’s most legendary classical singers, Oum Kalthoum.

Also known as the Star of the East, Oum Kalthoum (1904-1975) was endowed with a powerful and emotionally penetrating voice.

During the fifty odd years of a very momentous career, her songs were enormously popular throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and are still well-received today within the region and beyond.

Ibrahim Maalouf comes well prepared to take on the task of a jazz-influenced interpretation of Oum Kalthoum’s enigmatic love song, Alf Leila Wa Leila (One Thousand and One Nights) composed in 1969 by Baligh Hamdi. A trumpet virtuoso following in the footsteps of his father Nassim Maalouf (one of the acclaimed Lebanese masters of the quarter-toned trumpet), the younger Maalouf was schooled from a very young age in the Maqam, an improvisational technique and system of melodic modes used in Arab music. Drawn on extensively by Oum Kalthoum and all of her various composers, the Maqam was employed to great effect during her live performances.

Like most of Oum Khalthoum’s repertoire, Alf Leila Wa Leila is an epic operatic sprawl – recorded versions of which range anywhere from 45 minutes to more than an hour.

Ibrahim Maalouf إبراهيم معلوف

Playing his four-valved trumpet, Maalouf is accompanied by the protean German jazz pianist Frank Woeste, and by Americans Mark Turner (tenor saxophone), Clarence Penn (drums) and Larry Grenadier (acoustic bass).

With an admirable mixture of conciseness and fine taste, the trumpeter (who has won numerous laurels in Europe and America for classical music performance) splits up Alf Leila Wa Leila into an Introduction, two Overtures and four Movements.

The arrangements breathe new life into an old classic, traversing a vast spectrum of classical Arabic melodic and harmonic motifs, funk-jazz, and light swing.

Maalouf’s improvisational lines mirror Kalthoum’s effervescent vocals – and serpentine twists and turns – with alternating quiet-toned passages and roaring, capricious flights of melodic fancy.

Reverence for the fabled singer is palpable throughout. Penn’s shimmering cymbal work, Turner’s sonorous tenor sax solos and Grenadier’s galvanic bass playing bring highly valued gravitas to this delightful project.


  1. Introduction (03:54)
  2. Overture I (04:47)
  3. Overture II (03:34)
  4. Movement I (06:15)
  5. Movement II (07:27)
  6. Movement III (15:21)
  7. Movement IV (10:15)

Duration : 51:32 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2015 | Size : 127 mb

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Ibrahim Maalouf - 2013 - Illusions

Paris-based Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf learned a Middle Eastern quarter-tone technique from his brass-playing father, started out winning classical competitions, and then taught himself jazz. Following a prestigious classical career sanctioned by several international awards (France, Hungary, Finland, USA), and the diploma of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Ibrahim became a well-known figure on the music scene thanks to his collaboration with singers such as Sting, Amadou et Mariam, Lhasa de Sela, Matthieu Chédid and many others who wanted to use his sound and his unique playing style to colour their music. Ibrahim was rapidly recognized by the jazz world and his three first albums “Diasporas” (2007), “Diachronism” (2009) and “Diagnostic” (2011) were unanimously acclaimed by the national and international press. His music and his trumpet playing are strongly inspired by his Arabic culture, but the instruments around him (bass, electric guitar, drums, Arabic percussion and vibraphones) and the musicians with whom he performs give a more contemporary rock, electro and jazz-funk flavor to his music. His concerts are generally built around stimulating music that makes people want to get up and dance. But there is always a short, more contemplative, mystical interlude during his concerts, which he calls “a collective universal prayer”. Maalouf gets a lot of his inspiration from his culture of origin. His latest album “Wind” (2012) featuring his New York Quintet: star sidemen Mark Turner (sax) and Clarence Penn (drums), seems certain to broaden his audience. After “Wind”, a purely acoustic jazz album, Ibrahim Maalouf comes back with a more electric album, called “Illusions”, to be released in November.


  • Ibrahim Maalouf: Trumpet, composition & arrangements
  • François Delporte: Guitars
  • Frank Woeste: Keyboards
  • Laurent David: Bass
  • Xaxier Rogé: Drums
  • Youenn Le Cam, Martin Saccardy: Trumpets
  • Yann Martin: Lead Trumpet


  1. Illusions (03:38)
  2. Conspiracy Generation (08:57)
  3. InPressi (04:08)
  4. Nomade Slang (06:05)
  5. Busy (10:24)
  6. If You Wanna Be a Woman (06:42)
  7. Unfaithful (04:26)
  8. True Sorry (04:52)
  9. Illusion (03:20)

Duration : 52:29 | Bitrate : 320 Kbit/s | Year : 2013 | Size : 128 mb

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Ibrahim Maalouf - 2011 - Diagnostic

The Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf sometimes performs completely solo, but this album explores the epic side of his compositional output. Even though this might be the case, much of the recording involves the layering of his multi-instrumental prowess. Besides employing a four-valve horn variant, this adopted Frenchman has built up these pieces with piano, percussion and electronics, as well as inviting occasional guests to add guitar, violin, tuba, accordion and harmonica.
Everything has been hurled into the trans global pot, and the results are stylistically unbound. The main characteristic of this hour-plus work is an oscillation between ruminative calm and torrid marching. Maalouf opens with some thoughtful piano, with Lily merging into Will Soon Be a Woman, which inhabits the realms of an imaginary French movie soundtrack. Café serenading melds with gentle gypsy, the powdery softness of Maalouf’s tone dominating the foreground. It’s similar to the romantically tinkering world inhabited by Yann Tiersen.
Maalouf roves from France through Eastern Europe to the Middle East; or maybe he’s moving in the opposite direction. Each piece is dedicated to a member of his family, and the final tune is dedicated to the Lebanese family at large. As the third and fourth pieces develop, there are already frissons from the Andes and the Bronxian salsa tenements, overlaying a We Will Rock You drum-crash. Everything or Nothing invokes another filmic master, this time sounding akin to the epic work of Goran Bregović: crashing war-drums, massed choirs, cutting to just trumpet and piano.
There’s even more mashing to come. Never Serious is Balkan Led Zep, whilst Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us theme is used on We’ll Always Care About You, the result like a Balkan Slayer interpretation. The two extended pieces arrive towards the close, All the Beautiful Things featuring prominent Chinese erhu (two-stringed fiddle), and Beirut is also tranquil and spacious, the closest piece to a jazz ballad; throughout, the dispersed elements just about manage to cohere. Maalouf’s trumpet always has an Arabic tinge, but it’s as if he wants it to be a softer flugelhorn, as if Jon Hassell were meeting Kenny Wheeler.


  1. Lily (is 2) (02:08)
  2. Will Soon Be a Woman (05:31)
  3. Intro (01:20)
  4. Maeva in the Wonderland (06:47)
  5. Your Soul (02:23)
  6. Everything or Nothing (07:05)
  7. Never Serious (04:25)
  8. We’ll Always Care About You (04:26)
  9. Douce (feat. Oxmo Puccino) (05:45)
  10. All the Beautiful Things (11:01)
  11. Diagnostic (02:55)
  12. Beirut (10:43)

Duration : 64:29 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2011 | Size :170 mb

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Ibrahim Maalouf - 2012 - Wind ابراهيم معلوف

Ibrahim Maalouf’s fourth album, Wind, originated from a commission to write a soundtrack for René 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’échafaud.

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.


  • Double Bass – Larry Grenadier
  • Drum – Clarence Penn
  • Piano – Frank Woeste
  • Quarter Tone Trumpet – Ibrahim Maalouf
  • Saxophone – Mark T0urner



  1. Doubts (03:31)
  2. Suspicions (07:10)
  3. Waiting (04:51)
  4. Questions & Answers (04:38)
  5. Waiting 2 (00:55)
  6. Excitement (06:45)
  7. Certainty (06:09)
  8. Sensuality (07:42)
  9. Issues (06:03)
  10. Surprises (06:28)
  11. Doubts 2 (04:55)
  12. Mystery (03:25)

Duration : 62:32 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2012 | Size :150 mb

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