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The Astounding Eyes Of Rita [CD]

Anouar Brahem Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 11.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Sep 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B002FEUOB4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,000 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Lover Of Beirut
2. Dance With Waves
3. Stopover At Djibouti
4. The Astounding Eyes Of Rita
5. Al Birwa
6. Galilee Mon Amour
7. Waking State
8. For No Apparent Reason

Product Description

Product Description

In the 21st century Anouar Brahem has become one of ECM's most popular artists, with a staunch worldwide following and near-unanimously positive press reactions. The label's 40th anniversary brings a new album of warm, dark sounds and dancing, organic pulses from the Tunisian oud master, performed by his new band.

After two CDs more closely related to European music ('Le Pas de Chat Noir', 'Le Voyage de Sahar') comes a recording built more upon traditional phrasing and Arab modes - in some aspects resembling Brahem's 'Barzakh' and the bestselling 'Astrakan Café', but with some of the improvisational freedoms of 'Thimar'. The quartet from Tunisia, Germany, Sweden and Lebanon - now fired-up for international performances which include a first European tour this autumn - was brought together by Anouar and ECM producer Manfred Eicher initially for this album.

New music Brahem had written in 2008 seemed to call for a new group, modulating between cultures and disciplines. His work in the "Thimar" trio with John Surman had made him particularly enthusiastic about the blending of oud and bass clarinet, and Anouar was excited when he heard Norma Winstone's 'Distances' with clarinettist Klaus Gesing. Eicher also recommended Björn Meyer whose highly mobile bass guitar is a regular highlight of performances by Nik Bärtsch's Ronín band (see ECM albums 'Stoa' and 'Holon'). On hand drums, Brahem added insightful young Lebanese percussionist Khaled Yassine.

The album's unusual title references the poetry of Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), to whom the disc is dedicated. Darwish's famous poem "Rita and the Rifle" tells of love thwarted by political realities. Perfect for multi-format radio, the evocative music of 'The Astounding Eyes of Rita' is certain to be embraced by filmmakers, too - Brahem's music is increasingly being used in movies and documentaries.

Personnel: Anouar Brahem: (oud), Klaus Gesing (bass clarinet), Björn Meyer (bass), Khaled Yassine (percussion)

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tunisian Soul 3 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD
The Oud is an artefact of almost alchemical power.
A lute-like instrument of ancient Arabic heritage,
in Anouar Brahem's hands it both cuts like a knife
and soothes like a healing balm.

This album came my way by courtesy of a learned friend.
I am a newcomer to Mr Brahem and his music.
'The Astounding Eyes Of Rita' is a revelation.

The eight pieces in this collection are largely slow
in pace, reflective and almost hypnotic in their
power to engage both mind and emotion.

The inner workings of compositional and improvisatory
elements are seamlessly integrated in music of magical
complexity. It is an elusive and beguiling formula.

Klaus Gesing's bass clarinet must share equal credit
for the extraordinary sound-world created here.
It is a magnificent presence.
Bjorn Meyer's bass and Khaled Yassine's percussion
provide a solid but subtle rhythmic foundation.

A true ensemble exercise in every way.

Opening track 'The Lover Of Beirut' delivers some haunting
unison playing from Brahem and Gesing. The melodic material
takes its time to get under your skin and before you know
it you're inside the music looking out. A prisoner of beauty.

'Stopover At Djibouti' is a marginally more playful piece but
no-less lacking in intensity. The clarinet melody beginning about
two-and-a-half minutes in is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Lithe and slippery and entirely delightful. Brahem's mercurial
reply to Gesing's solo is equally breathtaking.

'Waking State' is a stunningly simple and exposed meditation.
At its heart an ethereal voice appears and
disappears like a ghost in the desert.
The stuff of true enchantment !
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars consistent pleasure 14 Jun 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Anahour Brahem has made a number of albums for ECM which have all had good features but inevitably some have appealed to me at least more than others. At first I really loved his oud playing and the musicians he was paired with in the eclectic ECM way but I had begun to feel well I know his work and perhaps I'm a bit jaded with it and for this reason I delayed for some time before buying this album. In the end I did and I am now very glad to have done so as this is the best for some time. It is consistent with his previous work but has all the strongest features and very little of the defects. All the musicians are excellent and work very well together, the material is entrancing so that the album repays hours of listening. It is quietly entrancing with wonderfully evocative soundscapes of langorous evenings and quiet sensuality.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars less is more 6 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD
My ears were introduced to this gem by a hi fi dealer when I purcahsed some new speakers recently (Jim at Audiolincs, could not rate him more highly - do your ears a favour). Within the first few seconds I knew this album was a eureka moment, like the first time I heard DSOTM or Appalachian Spring.
The emotional grip and evocativeness is out of all prpoprtion to the simplicity of the tunes. Its as if Anouar Brahems tunes are weaving a spell inside your head. It goes without saying that this is partly achieved by the superb musicianship and recording quality.
The disc can be listened to at a superficial level and enjoyed as background or mood music, but can also be listened to intently and it still delivers.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...a delicate sound 4 Dec 2009
Format:Audio CD
Like always, a sweet sound. Very elegant, indeed. Anouar Brahem is not only an excellent jazzman but he use delicate instruments to produce a delicate sound. Five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a continuing favourite 5 Nov 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
We have a number of albums by Brahem, and have also been to a live concert (tingles in the spine stuff) at the Brighton festival. This album has been one of our favourites for a while now, which is why we have bought a couple of copies for treasured friends - both of whom love it. We listen to music every night in bed while reading and then falling asleep - and this is our current favourite. Soothing and space-expanding, varied yet unobtrusive, famiuliar yet never boring. Wonderful...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astounding 6 Jun 2010
By Dbwhite
Format:Audio CD
Saw this crew in concert recently playing this album. It's heavenly and i can't reccomend it highly enough. A beautiful mix of instruments I wasn't hugely familiar with but will be making the effort to engage with more as a result of this gem.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effortlessly persuasive 5 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD
This is Brahem's masterpiece. Deep, slow and as someone else said, soulful.

It's fantastically mature music that just sucks you in, cossets you for a cd's worth and leaves you feeling all the better for it!

Brilliant stuff. Buy it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, moving, melodious 5 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD
Bought "blind" on recommendation for a Christmas present, thoroughly enjoyed by all int he family, though our tastes could not be more different
Easy enough to tap into, but once tapped, it captures the imagination
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