Home | High-End Audio Reviews | Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags | Daily News | Search     

  High-End Audiophile Review Magazine & Audio Equipment Reviews

  High-End Audiophile Equipment Reviews
  Gear Reviews, News, Show Reports, And More!

  Celebrating 26 Years Of Service To Music Lovers



























Anouar Brahem

By Srajan Ebaen
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Anouar Brahem Thimar

Compact Disc Compact Disc: ECM 21641 Compact Disc


Genre: Middle-Eastern/Jazz hybrid of oud,
sax/clarinet and double bass

  Anouar Brahem's 1998 release Thimar, with John Surman on sax and bass clarinet and Dave Holland on double-bass, is the kind of masterpiece that trips flags in alternate media coverage but tends to elude the mainstream. It's exotic but not flashy, it's impossible to categorize - and thus a hard sell on the retail floor --, and precedents that would hint at what to expect are few. Jan Garbarek's neo-tribal, Jazz-inflected style comes to mind, or Thierry Robin's solo oud meditations on semi-nude women, but how visible or useful are those reference to most music lovers?

The oud, especially in Turkish music, enjoys special veneration, but is rarely heard outside traditional Middle-Eastern styles. Thimar places it within a readily accessible context of double-bass lines that, though not Jazz per se, create a comfortable semblance, and the ready familiarity with the saxophone's or bass clarinet's reedy timbre make for further connections to a Western audience. And so, in fact, does the dreamy melodic work between Surman and Brahem. It features just enough blue notes to suggest Jazz, and enough Middle-Eastern embellishments and harmonic progressions to blur the lines.

The end result is a spacious rather than tight trio setting that avoids getting locked into any grooves but rather celebrates the less gravitational mood of the East. A lot of room is dedicated to improvisational explorations for all three musicians, and while each track has its own peculiar flavor, the overall sense is one of ease, calm playfulness and a certain element of extrovert contemplation. Since I don't have any liner notes - a Canadian friend copied this for me on is laptop while visiting - I can't be sure, but one gets the impression that this album took time to gestate, rather than being the product of a tightly scheduled, two-day studio session. All the tunes here are pervaded by a sense of timelessness that's usually the result of the participating artists occupying a shared psychic space, something that tends to happen more than being available on command. 

Thimar is really a sensational work, one of those "deep wells" that beckons to many return visits since there are so many subtleties awaiting appreciation. There's nothing flashy that impresses quickly and wears out equally rapidly. Consequently, it isn't a musical dish to be swallowed in a rush to elsewhere. It requires the kind of unfocussed focus -- the essence of all formal meditation -- to truly be appreciate for what it is: a musical Seshin between three master musicians captured, in time, on a little silver disc. Isn't technology magic? When you discover music such as this, it feels even more magical.




















































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal / Audio Fest 2022
Florida Audio Expo 2022
AudioCon Los Angeles 2022
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2022  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.