Astrakan Café

COMPOSERS: Anouar Brahem
LABELS: ECM
PERFORMER: Anouar Brahem Trio
CATALOGUE NO: 159 494-2

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The ECM label is usually linked with a pre-world music generation of musicians who absorbed international influences into a basically Western style. Here, though, is one of its select few stars from further afield, the oud player ANOUAR BRAHEM, in a haunting album of quiet, concentrated and poetic duos and trios with the Turkish clarinettist Barbaros Erköse and percussionist Lassad Hosni.

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The café of the title is symbolic of both transience and rootedness. Pace, rhythm and colour emerge from these simple resources, lightly poised and often catchy, though there are some heady improvisations and an arresting start as Erköse phrases his unaccompanied line with the sensitivity of a hushed voice.