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Dhafer Youssef - Divine Shadows (2006)

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Dhafer Youssef - Divine Shadows (2006)

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1. Cantos Lamentos (Dedicated To A. Part)
2. 27th Century Ethos
3. Miel Et Cendres (Dedicated To Mohamed Choukril) play
4. In Human Sense
5. Odd Poetry
6. 27th Ethos (Dedicated To Jatinder Thakur)
7. Persona Non Grata
8. Postludium
9. Eleventh Stone
10. Ivresse Divine play
11. Un Soupir Eternel (To A Norwegian Girl, Karen Steen Aarset 1931 - 2004)

Personnel:
Dhafer Youssef oud, vocal
Arve Henriksen trumpet, electronics
Eivind Aarset guitars, electronics, programming
Audun Erlien bass, bass balalaika
Marilyn Mazur percussion
Rune Arnesen drums, programming
Jan Bang programming

Oslo Session String Quartet

 

Divine Shadows sees the culmination of Dhafer Youssef's musical journey over the past five years. This, Dhafer's fourth album, consolidates ideas that have emerged through his three albums on Enja Records whilst introducing a new dynamic. Since his arrival in Europe in 1990, Tunisian vocalist and oud player Dhafer Youssef, has established himself as one of the most exciting artists working in contemporary music. Bringing together the spiritual quality of Sufi with the most cutting edge sound of European jazz, has created a distinctive sound synonymous with his name.

Produced by Norwegian guitarist, composer and producer Eivind Aarset, and featuring music which has formed the basis of the group's live concerts for the past year, Dhafer's debut album for Jazzland displays a mature cohesion. Unlike previous albums, Dhafer's voice and oud are at the fore in this album, from the glorious sweeping vocals of the opening track Cantus Lamentus to the purity of the oud on Miel et Cendres. The balance of tracks between string quartet and the band create a breadth of textures and musical styles that gives the album diversity and momentum. Gradually building and falling away from the hymn like beginning through the 11 meter groove of Eleventh Stone, the spatial glitchy electronics of 27 th Century Ethos and gently closing with the tender Un Soupir Eternel.

Work on Divine Shadows began almost two years ago when BBC Radio 3 commissioned Dhafer to write 45 minutes of new music for a Contemporary Music Network UK tour featuring a special line up. Over the first three albums and through his live performances, Dhafer had become increasingly inspired by the sound world and improvisatory style of the Norwegian scene. It was this cinematic and compelling sound world which Dhafer chose to create a backdrop to his voice and oud playing.

At the heart of this group is his long term collaborator Eivind Aarset. Having begun working together in 2001, Dhafer and Eivind have developed a very close personal and musical relationship. Also drawn from his previous band is drummer Rune Arnesen. Previous bands featured acoustic bass, however for this new band Dhafer partnered Rune with his colleague from Nils Petter Molvaer's group, electric bass player Audun Erlien. This quartet of truly remarkable musicians, was topped off by one of Norway's most creative and inspiring musicians, trumpeter Arve Henriksen.

Divine Shadows introduces a new dimension to the band's live performances. The album has an added complexity and subtlety, aided by the inclusion of the Oslo Session String Quartet, which emphasises the melodies, complementing the textures and colours that the core band conjure up. Divine Shadows reveals the full potential of Dhafer both as a composer and performer, working with musicians whose creativity provides the perfect vehicle for his music.

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Last Updated (Sunday, 07 September 2014 08:53)

 

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