Nate Chinen reviews French-Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf‘s Kalthoum performance in this New York Times article, in which Maalouf “ .” Apparently, Maalouf is set to release a new album, Kalthoum, later this year.
Mr. Maalouf, born in Beirut and now residing in Paris, is a virtuoso of the quarter-tone trumpet, which enables him to work with the maqam, or system of melodic modes, in traditional Arabic music. He inherited this set of adaptive strategies from his father, the revered classical trumpeter Nassim Maalouf. Both musicians play a custom horn with four valves instead of three, and both draw on a rigorous technique that extends beyond Western conservatory standards.
I was interested to discover that Maalouf wanted to be an architect. It reminded me of Hisham Matar’s linking of architecture and art, in his case literature. Matar says: “One of the virtues of the novel [is] that it takes from everywhere. It’s a very unruly kind of an artistic beast. It can start pretending to be architecture, or it can pretend to be music. Or it can aspire to poetry at a certain point.”
Maalouf is one of many Arab muscisiams mixing and infusing jazz and Arabic music – one of my favorites in this in mixed genre is Rima Khcheich who in much of her work “melds the established Arabic song repertoire into the western jazz idiom.”
Also of course New Sounds from Arab Lands.
NEW SOUNDS FROM THE ARAB LANDS AT MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL 2013 from Aga Khan Music Initiative on Vimeo.
More Arabic jazz here The Rough Guide to Arabic Jazz.