Jazz, Oriental vibe and an excellent sense of humor. “Music is all about enjoyment and that comes easiest when you laugh” says Rabih Abou-Khalil. Speaking of his new album and his band, Abou-Khalil said: “We’ve been playing together for nearly 16 years now. We know each other very well so, as you will hear, the band is very tight indeed.” This is also a quite multicultural project as well. Abou-Khalil – who plays oud – grew up in Beirut and moved to Munich, Germany during the civil war in 1978. Saxophonist Gavino Murgia are from Sardinian and sometimes he provide also vocals – for instance listen into “Bankers’ Banquet”. Frenchman Michel Godard is a phenomenal player of the tuba and its ancestor, the serpent, but he also plays bass. Luciano Biondini is a virtuoso Italian accordionist. Jarrod Cagwin sre form Iowa, USA, he is equally masterful with sticks and bare hands, and using both, western drum-kit and to Arabic frame drums.
Their music uses elements from Arab music traditions, together with many Jazz, Rock and classical references, particularly to the school of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, but also other influences include Frank Zappa, Bela Bartok, and such unexpected musicians as the Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener from Trinidad.
Since ’81 Rabih Abou-Khalil released over 20 albums and contributed to many more.
“Hungry People” it’s a direct reference to the “Arab Spring”.
Speaking of the likely aftermath of the Arab Spring Abou-Khalil says, “I hope I’m wrong. But I believe that we will be assigned fewer cultural liberties after the revolutions, not more.” It’s always interesting to have the opinion of somebody from the inside about the things we only know shallow, but we act like we care and understand.
01 – Shrilling Chicken
02 – When the Dog Bites
03 – A Better Tomorrow
04 – Bankers’ Banquet
05 – Dreams of a Dying City
06 – Fish and Chips and Mushy Peas
07 – Hats and Cravats
08 – When Frankie Shot Lara
09 – If you Should Leave Me…
10 – Shaving is Boring, Waxing is Painful
“Hungry People” it’s definitively a darker, but still spanning, Jazz and Arab music fueled musical adventure which reflects the recent economic, social and political upheavals occurred both in Orient and Occident. Abou-Khalil has found a musical language entirely of his own, merging apparently divergent universes of sounds and cultures, but finding a wide open path of communication.
His music it’s fascinating and beautiful, tensioned and exciting, provocative and meditative throughout. Must have!