Forgotten treasures - An ode to wine


Among the albums we have listened to over the years, there are several that we return to again and again with the same excitement. One of them is Dhafer Youssef’s "Abu Nawas Rhapsody", released in 2010 by Jazzland Recordings.

Youssef was inspired by the poetry of the medieval Arab-Persian poet Abu Nuwas while writing the music. Poetry full of verses about wine and pleasures - something very atypical and heretical in the conservative Islamic world. It is no coincidence that some of the songs on the album are called "The Wine Ode Suite". Some of the compositions were co-written with the Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan, who took part in the recording of the album. The quartet is complemented by Mark Guiliana on drums and Chris Jennings on bass. The super group formed in this way creates an atmosphere full of emotions and rhythm, with lyricism and depth.

Mixing music from different cultures and ethnicities is a trademark of Youssef, but in this album, along with other musicians, they transport us all in a fairy tale, as if we are a part of 1001 nights. Even more exciting and immersive is the feeling of listening to this music live. Over the years, we've been lucky enough to be at Dhafer Youssef's concerts several times, and all we can say is "mind-blowing." All musicians from the very first note to the last chord after 2-3 encores live and breathe the music and manage to take the listeners along on their journey.

Today we are reliving this album again in concert performance - played, sung and experienced in one breath.

Music, on the one hand, is a real and living fusion with space and the moment - right at this moment, today and now. On the other hand, it could be a dream, a flight to the stars or a look inside yourself. Each time operating to the bottom and each time new.

Wishing each of us to touch the music of Youssef - someone for the first time, someone for the next time.

You will find „Abu Nawas Rhapsody“ on digital platforms.


February 2022
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