Archive for the ‘Tunis’ Category

Dhafer Youssef Ensemble - 1996 - Mousafer ظافر يوسف مسافر

Musicians:

  • Dhafer Youssef oud, voice
  • Anton Burger violin
  • Achim Tang double bass
  • Jatinder Thakur tabla
  • guest: Otto Lechner accordion

TrackList:

  1. Baraca (06:20)
  2. El Houb El Hindi (09:22)
  3. Am Naschmarkt (05:11)

Duration : 20:53 | Bitarte : 350 kBit/s | Year : 1996 | Size : 42 mb

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Smadj Presents S.O.S. Smadj, Orhan Osman, Savas Zurnaci

Smadj’s roots cross many continents; African Tunisian through his forefathers and French through his childhood, he masters both the oud and computer sound engineering programs. Joining him on this special project is German born, Greek bred, Turkish Orhan Osman with his faithful companion, the Bouzouki, and clarinetist Savas Zurnaci who channels the heavens above with each note he plays. Together these virtuosos discover the mellifluous rhythms and grooves they produce with their spontaneous jamming. Musicians with a flair for the unexpected, a new sound is added into the mix—the electronic fasil—thrusting the musicians into the throes of ecstasy, transporting us to the elusive state of happiness through their art.

Poets and musicians seek happiness to share with their peers. Happiness, that transient state, to tear bits of eternity out of life. The musician, if he’s being honest; is both a poet and a traveler. Man-made laws can’t change anything—poetry knows no boundaries. Turkish music is sought after or shunned by three continents, and it never ceases to accommodate other influences. Yet it never stops being itself. This is what attracts poets to Istanbul; the assurance that they will hear plenty and the promise they’ll sing a tune or two. Like Turkey, Smadj’s roots cross many continents; African Tunisian through his forefathers and French European through his childhood. Smadj forged his education by exploring the musical resources of these two poles. Delving into the rich musical traditions of the Orient by learning to play the Oud, and exploring the modern technological advancements of the West by mastering computer sound engineering programs. Drawn to Istanbul, Smadj soon found two kindred spirits with whom he could make music. German born, Greek bred, Turkish Orhan Osman with his faithful companion, the Bouzouki, and clarinetist Savas Zurnaci who channels the heavens above with each note he plays as he wanders around the world in the footsteps of his gypsy ancestors. Smadj brings these virtuosos together, discovering with their spontaneous jamming the mellifluous rhythms and grooves they produce because of their innate understanding of one another.

The encounter proves to be exceptional, especially because of rich tones provided by talented peers. Together, they invite us to dream, invite us to dance. Musicians with a flair for the unexpected, a new sound is added into the mix—the electronic fasil—thrusting the musicians into the throes of ecstasy, transporting us to the elusive state of happiness through their art. Reminding us that we must never forget that poets are always right.

Musicians:
Smadj:
electronic rythms, electric and acoustic oud
Orhan Osman: bouzuki, “cura”, banjo
Savas Zurnacı: clarinet
Turay Dinleyen: violin (1,8)
Özhan Göğmen & Bülent Çalar: percussions (2,4,9)
Serkan Çalbay: vocal (2)

TrackList:
1 – Hat (06:01)
2 – Asma (05:08)
3 – Davet (05:58)
4 – Bardezum (06:22)
5 – Mes Enfants Cheris (05:40)
6 – Rumba (04:48)
7 – Selin Icin (03:56)
8 – Swing Alla Turca (05:33)
9 – Asya (02:58)
10 – Bir Demet Yasemen – A Bouquet Of Jasmine (06:02)

Duration: 52:26 | Bitrate: 320 kBit/s | Year: 2005 | Size: 109 mb

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Dhafer Youssef & Wolfgang Muthspiel - 2007 - GLOW

Although it’s a dual-leader album, in which oud player Dhafer Youssef‘s performance is at least as important as that of guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, one of Glow’s chief causes for celebration is Muthspiel’s on-form presence. After releasing the shimmeringly beautiful Bright Side (Material Records, 2006)—a little-known masterpiece which may yet take its place alongside such jazz guitar iconographs as Johnny Smith’s Moonlight In Vermont (Roulette, 1953, reissued 2004) and Wes Montgomery’s Incredible Jazz Guitar (Riverside, 1960)—Muthspiel’s project with drummer Brian Blade, Friendly Travelers (Material Records, 2007), was a disappointment, interesting in conception but not entirely convincing in execution.

Glow finds Muthspiel back in immaculate form as both guitarist and producer (significantly, the Blade album was a co-production while the Youssef is solely produced by Muthspiel). The disc reunites the Tunisian oud player and Austrian guitarist after a gap of six years following Muthspiel’s playing and composing collaboration on Youssef’s Electric Sufi (Enja, 2001). The album, Youssef’s breakthrough, was a thrilling, perfectly realized collision of traditional Maghrebi music, European jazz and a lively slab of dirty, visceral rock.

Wolfgang Muthspiel Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف

Glow inhabits similar territory, but with a broader, and perhaps deeper, emotional range. In large part this is down to Youssef’s singing, which Muthspiel, as producer, has coaxed to new expressive peaks. At times Youssef’s voice achieves the ecstatic intensity of the late Pakistani qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, at others it suggests the winsome vulnerability of the late electric troubadour Jeff Buckley. He sounds by turns beatific and scary, caressing and chilling, alternating lustrous tenor passages with tortured, almost weeping, falsetto. It’s an extraordinary performance.

Extraordinary, too, is the instrumental content and, again, comparisons with Electric Sufi are pertinent. The earlier album was recorded by a nine-piece, the new one by a quintet. The smaller line-up retains a trumpeter, with Tom Harrell replacing Markus Stockhausen, but makes more of the interaction between Youssef and Muthspiel. Both have an exquisite gift for melody, and an understanding of the power of silence, and both place every note with precision. It’s a commonplace to say such and such a musician “makes every note count,” but Muthspiel, in particular, really does.

Glow uses electronic wizardry with a lighter touch than its predecessor, though textural post-production continues to be a feature of Muthspiel’s work. Alegre Correa replaces drummers Mino Cinelu and Will Calhoun, and works in intimate partnership with the young bassist Matthias Pichler (who debuted so brilliantly on Bright Side).

Some music has the ability to condense time, a smaller proportion stretches it. Glow, its every bar a micro-world of eventful creation, is amongst the latter.

allaboutjazz.com

Musicians:
Dhafer Youssef: voice, oud.
Wolfgang Muthspiel
: guitars, violin, programming.
Fender Rhodes
piano.
Tom Harrell: trumpet, flugelhorn.
Matthias Pichler: bass.
Alegre Correa
: drums, percussion.
Rebekka Bakken
: voice (9).

Track List:
1 – Mon Parfum (02:58)
2 – Babylon (06:00)
3 – Sand Dance (04:47)
4 – Mein Versprechen (06:55)
5 – Etude #3 (05:06)
6 – Lamento (03:31)
7 – Maya (05:10)
8 – Emmerich (05:34)
9 – Cosmology (06:01)
10 – Rhapsodie (03:34)

Duration: 49:36 | Bitrate: 320 kBit/s | Year: 2007 | Size: 118 mb

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DuOud - 2002 - Wild Serenade

DuOud are the latest North African sensation to prove that tradition and technology can mix and match to create a sound full of possibilities.

DuOud consist of two oud-playing Parisians who combine their North African heritage with the latest in Western technology. Jean-Pierre Smadja – already noted for the two albums he issued as Smadj on MELT 2000 – is Tunisian by birth and trained as a jazz musician and sound engineer. Mehdi Haddab was born in Algiers. He spent time in Burundi, Central Africa, before settling in Paris. He was a third of the Parisian based trio Ekova, who specialised in the sort of global-meets- electronic-fusion that thrives in Paris.

Jean-Pierre Smadja Smadj - Mehdi Haddab

‘I’d been playing oud for a long time and had started to experiment with electronics,’ says Mehdi. Smadj was creating electronic music for many years but he only recently started playing the oud. Once we sat down to make music together it turned out we complimented each other.’

‘We began to compose our own material,’ adds Smadj, ‘so we needed rhythms to support our improvisations – that’s when we decided to put electronic beats behind our rehearsals. With time we just got involved in compositions with electronics.’

The oud is one of the most beautiful instruments in the world, lending itself to Turkish, North African and Middle Eastern interpretation. Yet DuOud’s debut album, Wild Serenade (Label Bleu) takes the oud into a different context. With the electronic programming expertise of Smadj and the virtuoso performances of Mehdi Haddab, the oud is immediately brought into the 21st Century.

While DuOud are not the first musicians to mix the North African lute with electronic technology, they do it with an imaginative freedom that sets them apart from their contemporaries. DuOud never engage in the world fusion cliché of playing over a thudding house beat. Instead, they build a musical cycle that looks both to African roots while absorbing elements of contemporary French music – break beats, jazz grooves and metal guitar are all invited to join the party. Wild Serenade is an album of dialogues between two men and two cultures.

bbc.co.uk

Track List:
1 – Yarimo
(02:24)
2 – Racailles (03:34)
3 – Zanzibar (05:58)
4 – Interluth (01:42)
5 – Chase (04:44)
6 – Ne Yalam Soyleyeyim (02:34)
7 – For Nedim (05:18)
8 – Racine d’enneade (03:36)
9 – Berlin Paris (05:07)
10 – Le Retour d’Ulysse (07:35)
11 – Midnight For Dancing With Frien (05:00)

Duration: 47:25 | Bitrate: 192 kBit/s | Year: 2002 | Size: 68 mb

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Nguyen Le duos with Paolo Fresu, Dhafer Youssef - 2006 - Homescape

Where does jazz stop and world music start? The boundaries are getting more blurred by the minute. We’re all postmodernists now, and many musicians under fifty reflect a range of influences beyond those traditionally associated with their own core style. Some, like French-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le, are so polyglot as to be practically beyond category.

Le started out down the cultural miscenegation road with his first band, the multi-ethnic Ultramarine, whose 1989 album, De, was named World Music Album of the Year by the radical French newspaper Liberation. He’s continued to mix it up ever since—prominent genre-benders he’s worked with include Miroslav Vitous, Trilok Gurtu, David Liebman, Paul McCandless, Peter Erskine and Mino Cinelu. In the late 1990s Le became increasingly interested in Maghrebi music, working with Algerian singers Safy Boutella and Cheb Mami, and in 1998 he brought Maghrebi and Vietnamese musicians together on the album Maghrebi & Friends.

None of this, however, can prepare you for the galaxy of sound sources on Homescape, a series of alternating duets with Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu and Tunisian oud player Dhafer Youssef. Some of these sources are developed and explored, others are referred to only in passing, and they include—but aren’t limited to—post-Hendrix rock, Milesian harmon-mute free improv, Maghrebi trance music, Ellingtonia, ambient, a Papua New Guinea vocal choir (sampled and replayed backwards), Delta blues, Vietnamese folk tunes, flamenco, Iranian modes, a Sardinian choir, Australian aboriginal ritual music, French chanson, Gregorian chant, and Indonesian gamelan/gong music.

Guitars, trumpet/flugelhorn and oud aside, the music is generated by loops, samples and overdubs, and the entire heavily post-produced album was recorded and mixed in Le’s Paris apartment – since 2003, his friends and neighbours Fresu and Youssef have been dropping by to home-record. The duets with Fresu are typically in free-improv mode (the exception being Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn’s lovely “Chelsea Bridge”), while the Youssef duets tend to be song or structure-based.

In the main sunny and joyful, though not without some darker and more abrasive moments, the fifteen tracks—average length three minutes, a handful six or seven—resemble a series of round-the-world postcards sent by Le, who mixed and post-produced everything solo, to his collaborators. As a soundtrack to an evening communing with the big bamboo, the exotic and the very exotic drifting in and out of the mix, it’s rich, colourful and beguiling.

allaboutjazz.com

Nguyen Le duos with Paolo Fresu, Dhafer Youssef - 2006 - Homescape

Paolo Fresu (born February 10, 1961) is a trumpet and flugelhorn jazz player, as well as an arranger of music, and music composer. Fresu was born in Berchidda, Sardinia. He picked up the trumpet at the age of 11, and played in the band Bernardo de Muro in his home town Berchidda.[1] Fresu graduated from the Conservatory of Cagliari in 1984, in trumpet studies under Enzo Morandini, and attended the University of Musical and performing arts in Bologna.
http://www.paolofresu.it/

Nguyên Lê (b. Paris, France, 14 January 1959) is a French jazz musician and composer of Vietnamese ancestry. His main instrument is guitar, and he also plays electric bass guitar and guitar synthesizer.
He has released numerous albums, both as a leader and as a sideman. His 1996 album Tales from Viêt-Nam blends jazz and traditional Vietnamese music. Nguyên Lê has performed with Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, Eric Vloeimans, Carla Bley, Michel Portal, and Dhafer Youssef.
http://www.nguyen-le.com/

Dhafer Youssef (born 1967 in Teboulba, Tunisia) is a composer, vocalist, and oud player. He has been living and working in various European countries since 1990. During this time he had the opportunity to perform his music on stages in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and other countries as well as his native Tunisia (where he started singing in the Islamic tradition  at age 5 ).
http://www.dhaferyoussef.com/

Nguyen Le – electric, acoustic, fretless, synthesizer, e-bow, Vietnamese guitars, computer programming & electronics.
Paolo Fresu – trumpet, fluegelhorn & electronics.
Dhafer Youssef – oud, vocals & electronics.

Track List:
1 –  Stranieri
(Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (06:00)
2 –  Byzance (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyên Lê) (04:25)
3 –  Muqqam (Dhafer Youssef) (02:44)
4 –  Mali Iwa (Nguyên Lê) (06:27)
5 –  Zafaran (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyen Le) (06:02)
6 –  Domus de Janas (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (02:18)
7 – Kithara (Dhafer Youssef) (02:18)
8 –  Chelsea Bridge (Billy Strayhorn) (03:00)
9 –  Safina (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyên Lê) (03:27)
10 –  Des Pres (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (02:19)
11 –  Thang Long (Nguyên Lê) (05:33)
12 –  Neon (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (03:12)
13 –  Mangustao (Dominique Borker) (07:26)
14 –  Lacrima Christi (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (03:14)
15 –  Beyti (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyên Lê) (02:53)

Duration : 61:19 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2006 | Size : 144 mb

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