Udi Hrant Kenkulian, Udi Hrant Kenkulian

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

If one instrument encapsulates the sound of the Middle East, it's the lute-like oud. A master (Udi) of both Ottoman music and the taqsim, this blind Armenian oudist (who lived in Istanbul) is brought back to life here, shining alone on tracks like "Mahur Sez Samai," and showing his subtle, meditative improvisation skills on "Huzzam Taksim." This vintage 1950 recording beautifully illustrates his emotive, often innovative playing, and his respect for the music of the past.