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Arco Iris

Arco Iris

10 Sep 2011
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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This is a lovely album, enchanting music and so easily to listen to anywhere . Her lovely voice and north african melodies speak volumnes however i must get my moroccan friend to translate some of it. Thats not needed however to really feel the power of this music, it reached into your hear and soul whether you understand all the words or not. How many peices of music can one say that about ? not many i suspect.
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By Marius Gabriel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Feb. 2014
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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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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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