"On Waiting, a minimalist background of drizzling brushes and a stark, two-note bass riff provides the context for delicate, upward-arching vocal inflections, like an Arabesque crooner…a very satisfying cultural exchange." - BBC
“Ibrahim Maalouf brings something particularly fresh to the ongoing conversation with Davis’s mode…it also allows Maalouf’s Lebanese-French roots full play, staking out microtonal harmonic improvisations…while staking out a territory in jazz nearly all his own…this flowing and well-judged recording deserves a wide audience.” - Wind (Harmonia Mundi Distribution) reviewed on Blue Notes in Black and White.
Get Wind on iTunes!
Ibrahim Maalouf - interview (by Vrijegeluiden)
Listen to Maalouf’s album Wind on iTunes, distributed by Harmonia Mundi.
Harmonia Mundi distributed artist Ibrahim Maalouf featured on NPR Music!
“Ibrahim Maalouf plays a four-valve trumpet — most just have three. The extra valve, attached to the button a trumpeter pushes down, allows the Lebanese musician to play quarter-tones — the notes between notes that characterize Arabic ‘makams.’
'The makams are scales and modes with quarter-tones and three quarter-tones intervals,” Maalouf says. “This is something that you cannot find in Occidental music…'
Maalouf says there are many links between Arabic and Western music. He says when he’s playing jazz, he can incorporate Arabic scales thanks to one specific similarity.
'There's this note that we actually call 'the blue note' and I believe it's a heritage from African music,' Maalouf says. 'Those notes that are right in the middle, between a note and another note, those are 'blue notes' that you bend with the lips. Those are quarter-tones. From these kinds of scales, I can switch to music that is very close to Arabic feelings.'”
Get the new album Wind!
what Maalouf has achieved is an album that stands very much on its own, irrespective of how it integrates with the film…
Try the opening track to be seduced, and the lumpy, almost reggae time of Questions And Answers for the unexpected. Turner is expansive on Excitement, while Woeste and Penn add an almost Latin groove before letting Grenadier go in Sensuality.
And Maalouf rides over it with such a natural, almost conversational sound – this is really story-telling. Try the lovely Surprises – with its hint of Kenny Barron’s Sunshower about the melody – for his conventional tone playing and luscious tone, and the opening Doubts, as well as Certainty, for how subtly he adds the quarter-tone element. A charming and lovely album. Here is a video taste:
"Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf’s latest album is a tribute to Miles Davis’ classic A Lift to the Scaffold, engaging the spirit and giving it an Arabic twist."
An interview by Betto Arcos with Ibrahim Maalouf airs tomorrow on KPFK’s Global Village! Tune in at noon PST.