Highlights of the CD include Secrets, an ambient-rich lament on solo ney that, once piano, guitar and various hand percussions set up a slowly swirling pulse, soon turns into a mournful melody; Afgano, a traditional song from Afghanistan translated into a slowly limping but stately instrumental number. It epitomizes the entire production’s milieu of a darkish opulence and languishing splendor; Yo M’Enamori, an ancient Sephardic tune with a plain but haunting melody sung in the original Ladino language of the Spanish Jews.
Audiences can expect a program combining charismatic and elegant flamenco forms with rich and unusual instrumentation such as the oud (parent of the renaissance lute) the ney (Arabic reed flute) darbuka (ceramic drum) and vocal styles of the far East, India, & Spain, blended with jazz piano. The oud is lifted out of its classical Arabian milieu and successfully integrated into a thoroughly modern yet perfectly suitable setting.
The artists of Al-Andalus emanate from strict traditional artistic backgrounds who have mastered the tradition and are now continuing the voyage, exploring and creating new worlds. In a sense architects within the cultures they represent, building a new artistic language that unifies Eastern & Western cultures and generates a work that is rich, layered & socially conscious, expanding the artistic horizons of both experts & novices alike. Further the advancement of international understanding, goodwill & peace by supporting a group that reflects a place and time where Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together for a cultural flourishing: Al-Andalus.