The Astounding Eyes of Rita
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Another gorgeous, evocative musical journey from oud master Anouar Brahem who delivers an album of warm, dark sounds and
dancing, organic pulses. The music modulates between eastern and western cultures and disciplines yet the compositions are unmistakably Brahem s.
(Brahem) creates music that floats in space, evocatively calling up
references to classical music, jazz, Arabic modes and the indefinable
beauties of spontaneous improvisation. --Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
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These songs offer swift passage to flights of fancy as they encourage one's thoughts to drift yet stimulate the senses (as in a dream): a swirling sirocco, beams of sunlight, gently lapping water, strange spices, the friction of jute are all hiding in here somewhere.
Like other Anouar Brahem recordings I own, this one is intensely relaxing. While it isn't the best Brahem recording I own, there are a few very good atmospheric pieces here. The best one in my opinion is definitely the title cut. But there are also a couple of others that rank with some of the best that Brahem has recorded. Those are The Lover of Beirut and Galilee Mon Amour.
As usual with ECM recordings, this CD comes very tastefully packaged and is accompanied by an attractive yet almost spartan booklet containing pictures, album info, and a poem by the late poet Mahmoud Darwish that quite possibly inspired the name of the album and to whom it is dedicated. Check this out, if you enjoy previous albums from Anouar Brahem you are almost certain to enjoy this as well.
Honestly, I don't know how to stop listening to it. Each time I think I should unplug from it before I burn out on it another week has gone by and I'm still immersed in it, and I have 36 days of music on my ipod. Part of the reason could be that I'm a musician and Brahem's muse is just so enchanting. I find it impossible to listen to this album as background music. More than once I've had visitors who had a hard time engaging me if "...Rita" was playing.
My favorite pieces are Stopover at Djibouti, Al Birwa, Galilee Mon Amour, and of course the title track. Each of these pieces is captivating and lingers in the mind long after you hear them. This is music of the spirit, and of the heart. Don't miss it.
Le virtuose de l'oud est ici accompagné par de merveilleux artistes - Klaus Gesing (clarinette basse), Björn Meyer (basse) de Ronin Nik Bärtsch et Khaled Yassine (darbouka, Bender). Les quatre joueurs se fondent parfaitement dans cette musique orientale, si mystérieuse et si prenante : du grand art.
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