It is not a secret that I simply adore the music of Anouar Brahem. I know all his recordings by heart, but I never reviewed anyone here. Six years already passed since his last recording The Outstanding Eyes of Rita had been made. I honestly believe I wasn’t alone among all us waiting for that one to come.
As an orchestral Suite spanning on two discs (thanks GOD for that) it came as a surprise as Anouar usually appears in trio or quartet. The music is hypnotic and unavoidably charming and after many sessions I found my way to understand it.
The core of the group relays on the same pillars: bass clarinettist Klaus Gesing and bassist Björn Meyer, both most recent collaborators present on Anouar’s previous recording and in his quartet. The biggest and most welcome challenge is however returning to the group pianist Franҫois Couturier. He is the one who is responsible for an excellent deeply romantic intimacy present on albums like Le Voyage de Sahar or my favourite Le pas du chat noir. The way Couturier and Brahem do understand each other and hold their musical dialogue becomes a core of the entire emotional balance deposited in this music. It always was like that in the past and those who are familiar with these old albums mentioned know well what I mean.
There is no point in going for titles here, this music just flows and titles are for musicians more than for the listeners. Everyone who switches this on will be immediately dragged into another world. Outstanding beauty and the fragility of this masterpiece is made around the same well known hypnotic cooperation. Couturier makes a core around which Brahem can weave his tales, frequently joined by clarinettist and accompanied by string section or whole orchestra.
Completely separate pleasure on the top of all is following what builds up between pianist and bassist. François’ deeply touching dark notes tend to sunk into listeners soul and simply take over his emotional core. With bassist support every single note comes stepping on the red carpet. Pianist’s interactions with orchestra are other parts of this congenial project. He builds tension and drama of every single piece with precision of charlatan watch maker who sold his soul to Devil for the promise of winning every single human being with his Tic Tac every step. It shows his versatility and the central place Brahem reserved for him in this project says it all.
Leader himself stays a bit in a shadow here with his instrumental presence, counterpointing rather piano’s parts and hardly soloing. But the whole music here is naturally so Brahem that it makes my heart smiling wide and my ears crying when it stops. All intuitive and fragile like the smoothest silk. All so beautifully balanced and gently painted that the landscape it brings is always elusive like a quick thought which just passed your mind and disappeared if you didn’t care enough to hold on to it. Like a bit of the heart which followed your most intimate feeling and changed your mind into waterfall of sparkles.
This is not a music – it’s the prayer. Amen.