Amir ElSaffar, who has been called among the most promising figures in jazz today by the Chicago Tribune, is unique for combining elements of the maqam, a Middle Eastern musical form, with modern jazz. A virtuoso on the trumpet, ElSaffar has developed new techniques that enable intonation and ornaments that are characteristic to Arabic music and is also one of very few trumpeters in the world able to play microtonal music. Crisis is inspired by his extensive travels in the Middle East, and the growing sense of hopelessness that continue to haunt the region. Joining him is the Two Rivers Ensemble, his long-running group formed to explore this confluence of these musical cultures. After almost ten years of extensive performing and touring, they have developed an intuitive ease with this highly complex music, enabling the band to play with a creativity that transcends pure technical challenge. Using the maqam to transform the jazz idiom, the music still speaks the language of swing, improvisation and group interaction. With Crisis, ElSaffar has once again uncovered entirely new possibilities in the evolution of jazz.
Key Performers: Amir ElSaffar trumpet, vocal, santour Ole Mathisen tenor and soprano saxophone Nasheet Waits drums Carlo DeRosa bass Tareq Abboushi buzuq Zafer Tawil oud, percussion
Total Run Time 66:33
ELSAFFAR,AMIR TWO RIVERS ENSEMBLE
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
glorious, powerful, endlessly interesting. I never tired of listening. a wonderful work.
Seven things I love about this CD. 1). The composition is complex and compelling. The music evokes a range of emotions with an expansive palate of sounds. Middle Eastern scales are seamlessly integrated into the harmonic/melodic mix. A rich tapestry of rhythmic interplay is physically satisfying if not immediately decipherable . Both heart and mind are honored by this fascinating composer. 2). The musicianship across the band is first rate, world class, and El Saffar leaves plenty of room for each player to display his talents. 3). El Saffar’s trumpet playing blows my mind: from soulful Arabic style blues to red hot Jazz-on-fire improvisation, his range and technique are unbelievable. This guy has chops to burn. His razor sharp duets with sax player Ole Mathisen race along with fasten- your-seatbelt tempos that will blow your sox off. 4). The album tells a timely story with an overarching theme connecting all the tracks. Commissioned for the 2013 Newport...
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