Archive for the ‘Rahim Alhaj’ Category

Rahim AlHaj, Ottmar Liebert, Jon Gagan, Barrett Martin - 2009 - Under the Rose

The deep and soulful sound of Spanish flamenco is rooted in a unique series of historical events and cultural overlaps that stretch across centuries, reaching from India to the New World—none more important than the Moorish conquest of the Iberian peninsula in the eighth century.

Early in the Moors’ reign, an illustrious Iraqi oud player, Ziryab, fled Baghdad in fear for his life, as the story goes, and migrated to Córdoba, a cultural center of Al-Andalus (Andalusia). He brought with him a profound musical heritage and a host of innovations that laid the foundation for Spanish music. Among many other things, he initiated an evolutionary process that led to the development of the modern flamenco guitar.

The circle has come round again, and another illustrious Iraqi oud player, Rahim AlHaj, has fled political tyranny in Baghdad, carrying with him an ancient musical heritage and a head full of innovative ideas. Among those ideas is his determination to engage players across a wide range of musical genres to explore the common language of music, which reflects our common humanity.

On Under the Rose, AlHaj combines with the world-renowned guitarist Ottmar Liebert to unite the ancestral Iraqi tradition with modern flamenco, celebrating and exploring the family connections. Liebert, who has incorporated his own innovative ideas into the vocabulary of flamenco—bringing electric bass, synthesizer, electronics, drum kit, and more into the mix—proves a compelling musical foil to the ancient sound of the oud and AlHaj’s contemporary approach to the instrument.

Ably assisted by Jon Gagan (bass, keyboard), who also produced the CD, finding just the right textures and contexts to illuminate this unique pairing, and Barrett Martin (percussion), these two musical masters bring a fresh perspective to flamenco that echoes its distant past while perhaps anticipating its future. Whether playing in call and response (“The Coin”), weaving two lines together in a rhythmic dance (“A Storm Approaches”), experimenting with electronic embellishments (“Return to Andalusia”), or hewing closer to tradition (“Under the Rose”)—AlHaj and Liebert display a rare musical simpatía that bridges cultures and genres.

This collection of 10 tracks—all collaboratively composed by the four players—offers a deep-soothing balm for the listener. From the most energetic to the most profoundly contemplative, each track takes the ears on a short, refreshing journey that reaffirms music’s magical powers and the virtuosity of these splendid musicians.

Track List:

  1. Under the Rose (05:03)
  2. The Delivery (03:51)
  3. Don’t Wait, My Love (06:02)
  4. The Seduction (04:55)
  5. Do You Know I Love You (05:27)
  6. The Coin (04:37)
  7. Chasing You (05:41)
  8. A Storm Approaches (05:01)
  9. Return to Andalusia (05:43)
  10. Spirit of Saladin (04:52)

Duration : 51:10 | Bitarte :  320 kBit/s | Year : 2009 | Size :  121 mb

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Rahim Alhaj - 2006 - When The Soul Is Settled. Music of Iraq

Rahim Alhaj was raised in Baghdad, Iraq, and began studying the oud when he was nine years old and gave solo concerts from age fourteen. He attended the prestigious Baghdad Conservatory of Fine Arts, (comparable to Julliard School of Music in the US), studying under Munir Bashir and Salim Abdul Kareem, whence he graduated from the six-year program with honors in 1990. He left Iraq the next year under pressure from Saddam Hussein’s government including imprisonment and torture due to artistic resistance to the regime. Rahim lived in Jordan and later in Syria until 2000, when he was granted political refugee status and moved to the US, where he resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An improviser and composer, he has performed in hundreds of solo concerts throughout the Near East, Europe and across North America. He performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in June 2006 for this CD release tour. Rahim also teaches a Middle East Music History and Ensemble class at the University of New Mexico. His website is www.rahimalhaj.com.

As received from his teachers, Rahim Alhaj carries the Iraqi musical tradition, yet he has moved it along toward the next generations in his own way, in his own time. Souhail Kaspar is a master percussionist, born in Lebanon and trained at the Conservatory of Traditional Arabic Music (Nadi al-Funun al-Arabiyya) in Aleppo, Syria. He lives in Los Angeles, but travels worldwide to work, in constant demand for performances, recording sessions and teaching engagements. For online information, see www.neareastmusic.com.

Track List:

1Taqsim Maqam Ajam
تقاسيم مقام عجم.
2 Taqsim Maqam Mukhalif
تقاسيم مقام مخالف.
3 Taqsim Maqam Sika
تقاسيم مقام سيكاه.
4 Taqsim Maqam Kurd
تقاسيم مقام كرد.
5 Taqsim Maqam Bayyat Husayni
تقاسيم مقام بيات حسيني.
6 Taqsim Maqam Hijaz
تقاسيم مقام حجاز.
7 Taqsim Maqam Lami
تقاسيم مقام لامي.
8 Taqsim Maqam Sharqi Rast
تقاسيم مقام شرقي رست.
9 Taqsim Maqam Saba
. تقاسيم مقام صبا

Duration : 73:29 | Bitarte :  320 kBit/s | Year : 2006 | Size :  176 mb

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