The Astounding Eyes of Rita
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Delightful new project, assembled by Tunisian oud master Brahem with producer Manfred Eicher. Combination of bass clarinet with oud suggests a link to Anouar’s “Thimar” trio, but this East/West line-up often feels closer to the more traditionally-inclined sounds of “Barzakh” or “Conte de l’Incroyable Amour”. Klaus Gesing, from Norma Winstone’s Trio, and Björn Meyer, from Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, are both players with an affinity for musical sources beyond jazz, and they interact persuasively inside Brahem’s music. A dance of dark, warm sounds, urged onward by the darbouka and frame drum of Lebanaese percussionist Khaled Yassine. The album is dedicated to the memory of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.