Arabesque, Traditional Arabic Music

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

From the frantic, scintillating playing of "Longa," with its brilliantly articulated oud and violin improvisations raising the temperature, this recording shines a bright light on traditional Arabic music. The complex rhythms of "Alwan Mizan" glide smoothly by, while "Cerga" demonstrates the dexterity of the musicians on a lovely Egyptian melody, showcasing the music's accessibility, rather than its foreignness. The slow, lengthy song "Bab Arraja" is a reminder that the Arabic vocal tradition is every bit as long and rich as the instrumental one.