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Arco Iris

Amina Alaoui Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £11.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Following her outstanding ECM debut performance as the lyrical voice of Jon Balke’s Siwan recording (released June 2009) Amina Alaoui explores a rainbow of musical possibilities on her own Arco Iris. It is an emotionally powerful album that soars through related idioms. This time, says Alaoui in her liner notes, there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al ... Read more in Amazon's Amina Alaoui Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Arco Iris + Siwan + The Well
Price For All Three: £36.26

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  • Siwan £11.85
  • The Well £12.93

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Jun 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B004X7UV14
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,567 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Hado 1:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Búscate En Mí 6:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Fado Al-Mu'tamid 5:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Flor De Nieve 4:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Oh Andaluces 6:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Ya Laylo Layl 9:18Album Only
Listen  7. Fado Menor 5:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Búscate En Mí, Var. 5:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Moradía 3:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Las Morillas De Jaén 7:05Album Only
Listen11. Que Faré 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Arco Iris 6:34£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Following her outstanding performance in collaborative work with Jon Balke and Jon Hassell on the Siwan recording of 2007/8, here the magnificent Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui presents her own border-transcending project, Arco Iris, an emotionally-powerful, musically-dazzling album, at once approachable and profound. She is superbly accompanied by her outstanding ensemble in which violin often echoes the voice and oud, flamenco guitar and sparkling mandolin surround it.

Born in Fez and originally schooled in the Moroccan Gharnati tradition, Amina continues to research connections between the musics of Spain, Portugal, and North Africa. Much of the research takes place in and around the music. She is a scholar of a note and a poet, but firstly she is an impassioned performer. When Alaoui sings there is, as she observes, "no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi" for the music itself explores the common crucible of these styles, and Amina's delivery makes the interconnections impossible to miss. And in the tradition of the greatest singers, she enters the texts - some of them a thousand years old - and makes them new.

Hers is a truly international ensemble. Violinist Saïfallah Ben Abderrazak and oud player Sofiane Negra are from Tunisia. Guitarist José Luis Montón from Barcelona has a strong following amongst flamenco adherents worldwide. Mandolinist Eduardo Miranda was born in Brazil, has lived the last two decades in Portugal, and links choro and fado styles through a vocabulary influenced by jazz. The group's youngest member, Idriss Agnel, son of Amina Alaoui, studied music at Maîtrise Notre Dame de Paris from the age of seven. He is meanwhile renowned as a multi-instrumentalist, contributing here deft percussion and (on one track) electric guitar.

Personnel: Amina Alaoui (vocals, daf), Saïfallah Ben Abderrazak (violin), Sofiane Negra (oud), José Luis Montón (flamenco guitar), Eduardo Miranda (mandolin), Idriss Agnel (percussion, electric guitar)

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homage to Iberia 24 Aug 2011
By degrant
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After the events of the Arab Spring, commentators were quick to point out the very different worlds, separated by narrow waters, between North Africa and Southern Europe. Even forgiving the flaws of such a stark comparison, such circumstances make all the important and welcome this wonderful latest offering from the Morrocan-born Amina Alaoui.

Assisted by musicians from Tunisia, Barcelona and Brazil via Portugal on violin, oud, flamenco guitar and mandolin respectively as well as her own son on percussion, Alaoui has created a timely yet timeless tribute to the various musical influences of the Iberian peninsula. To this extent at least "Arco Iris" comes from the same tradition of fellow ECM artist Savina Yannatou's group Primevera en Salonico amongst others.

Lest there be any doubt, "Arco Iris" is beautifully recorded and exquisitely packaged with informative yet mood-enhancing liner notes from Alaoui herself.

"Fado Al-Mu'tamid" is a self-descriptive fado arrangement of the words of the eleventh century Al-Mu-tamid Ibn Abbad (a one-time ruler of the Taifa of Seville). "Yo laylo layl" is a fantastically sensual and evocative working of on a poem by another Moorish poet of the time, Ibn Zaydun de Cordoba. Not to be outdone, the last two compositions feature the words of Alaoui herself. Of those two, while Que Fare is excellent, the concluding title song "Arco Iris" (which means Rainbow") is, for me, the highlight of the entire recording as Alaoui sings wistfully (in Spanish) of the "Bride of rain for a moment/Or the cloud angel's bow".

The lack of appreciation for "Arco Iris" is tragic as, without wishing to pigeonhole her, Alaoui deserves to receive the acclaim and popularity of Fado's leading light, Mariza as one will struggle in world and jazz circles to find someone fashioning a finer body of work than Aloui to whom I give the last word "What do we have left without love, without nuances, without a rainbow?"
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you undecided about buying this CD? 21 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Are the 20 second Amazon snippets too short to make a decision?

Type into a YouTube search "amina alaoui arco iris" and you will find 4 complete tracks from this lovely album.

Arco Iris
Oh Andaluces
Fado Al-Mu'tamid
Flor de nieve

After listening to these, I decided to place my order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truelly Magnificent Album 4 Nov 2012
By tangle
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you like Fado, Andulucian, Flamenco and Morisco music beautifully sung and performed this cd is a must. The old and new song are seemlessly placed together in this hauntingly wonderful cd. Why aren't this these artists beter known.? I can only presume that our junk radio stations are afraid to play interesting and complex music. Many of these songs are evocative of a Spain that is rarely seen or heard. The searing, controlled passion in these songs is truelly manificent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 23 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you haven't listened to Amina Alaoui, a treat is in store. You don't have to like Moroccan/Spanish/Flamenco music to appreciate her magnificent voice and phrasing. Highly recommended to all music lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmeric 11 Nov 2013
By Moorie
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Most brilliant CD for these autumn days... staring out of the window and hearing the subdued melancholy of her voice; the music of horizons never to be reached. Perfect.
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