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Current Media on
Instrumental Music from Lebanon
Andree Hajj & Ensemble


A beautiful album, based on the rich cultural tradition of Lebanese music. It highlights the traditional Oriental orchestra, consisting of oud, buzuk, qanun, ney, Oriental violin and double bass with Arabian percussions such as tabla, riqq, katem, mezher and others. Rich information about the artists, instruments, the pieces, including a glossary, in English, German, French and Spanish.

Click here to view product details.

 

All Music Guide logo

"Lebanon has always been a Middle Eastern crossroads, a place with its own long cultural history that's also welcomed others, and that's perfectly illustrated on this collection by a very traditional ensemble fronted by the staggering oud talents of André Hajj, who is to the fore throughout, as well as enjoying a couple "taqasims" or improvisations, with "Shwayyet Hobb" a particular standout. The group explores several different styles over the course of the CD, like "Al El Hayy," which skips lightly, the Turkish "Tishreen," which has a more Far Eastern flavor, and "Raheel," in the Gypsy style, where violin (perhaps unsurprisingly) predominates as the piece shifts seamlessly through many moods. It's a subtle disc, powered by some superb percussion playing that makes the complex time signatures sound natural and simple, while the other instruments offer melodic, virtuoso backing. Hajj himself is always graceful in his playing, capable of breathtaking runs and extemporization that moves logically and with great sensitivity. Anyone wanting an introduction to the varied music of Lebanon need look no further than this."

Songlines Logo

"The individual players' solo improvisations are reassuringly unfussy and confident, tastefully adding to the overall effect. If all this sounds rather understated, Raymond Hajj's occasional percussion interludes raise the temperature nicely and special mention should also be made of his engineering, which has produced a beautifully warm recorded sound. A highly recommended album: ideal for anyone just developing an interest in music from this area."

The Scotsman logo

"Much of the time, the atmosphere is that of a decorous jam session, with each player listening intently to his colleagues before making his contribution. The solos have a lovely resonance."

Slipcue logo

"A gorgeous set of traditional Arabic music drawn from the Lebanese tradition. Lute player Andre Hajj is a master of his instrument and though the emphasis of this music is on ensemble performances, he has some fine moments as a soloist. This is particularly true on the gorgeous, meditative solo excursion, "Dafa," in which he shifts delicately from theme to theme, showing an absolute mastery of the repertoire an style. This is a very beautiful album, confidently performed and satisfying on every level. Highly recommended!"

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