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The Art of the Middle East

Album: The Art of the Middle East
# Song Title   Time
1)    Nara
2)    Ajami
3)    Mouassal
4)    Mayass
5)    Manara
6)    Rewind
7)    Forward
8)    Li Anni Oughanni
9)    Tourism
10)    It's Over
11)    Samai Rast
12)    Ourakhoutyoun
13)    Wissal
14)    Tamrin
15)    Again?
16)    Ya Ghosna Naqa
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Charbel Rouhana (vocals, oud); Imane Homsi (qanoun); Antoine Khalife (violin); Abboud El Saadi (acoustic bass); Bassam Saleh (double bass); Albert Rouhana (tabla); Ali El Khatib (rik).
  • With the subtitle 'New perspectives on traditional maqams, it's obvious that oud player Charbel Rouhana plans on using the Arabic scales -- known as maqams -- in a slightly different manner. And often he puts them in different contexts, like the Armenian-flavored "Ourakhoutyoun," which bounces around gleefully with an accordion, or "Forward," with its very jazz fusion touches. Inevitably the oud is the prominent instrument throughout, with Rouhana an inventive but thoughtful and imaginative player. He also offer some excellent arrangements for his group, mixing Middle Eastern and Western instruments in an interesting fashion. There's also room for improvisation; on "Rewind," for example, the oud and violin play off each other magnificently. What Rouhana is doing is similar to the path of a few others, but it's all reinventing the tradition, which is necessary for it to move forward. ~ Chris Nickson
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