This is another of the Norwegian Jan Garbarek’s international stylistic fusion projects, this time combining his saxophone work with the oud playing of Brahem and the tablas of Hussain. Such beautifully elegant, yet dramatic music! Brahem’s playing in particular is sensational (for those who have not heard the oud played, this is a stringed instrument with a sound something like a dulled lute). The music itself is rather serious, even sombre-sounding at times, but out of this rather dark North African ambience regularly emerge flashes of focussed energy that will, as they say, knock your socks off. A strangely ignored album that deserves much more attention than it has received.
Madar by Anouar Brahem