03 For Rita - Morning Take
04 Nour El Nar
05 Valse Arabe
Abaji is one of the great musical discoveries of the best-selling double album
"Desert Blues 2 / Rêve d’oasis".
Born in Beirut, this "Troubadour of the Bedouins" (Le Figaro) comes from a long line of great musicians in a family whose cultural roots are a fascinating mix of Armenian, Lebanese, Turkish, Greek and Syrian. For this journey to the Orient Abaji went in search of his origins. The result is a scintillating kaleidoscope of tranquil, bluesy sounds, inspired by the sweeping expanses of the desert, the rugged mountains, the fertile valleys and oases. He plays unique and unusual instruments: an ancient double-necked guitar from which he entices the sounds of the harp, tambura and guitar; various clarinets, flutes, a smokey-timbred bamboo saxophone, and a sitar-guitar built specially for him, which he sometimes plays with a bow in the manner of an oriental fiddle. Abaji's accomplished musicianship is as evident in his rembetiko-style bouzouki playing as it is when he takes up the lute in honour of his great grandmother, a famous lute player herself. Some of the tracks have an undercurrent of percussion, while others are vehicles for the Arab poetry he sings in his gorgeously raw voice. In France he is already a cult figure, and his first concerts in Germany were hailed enthusiastically by the critics: "Intense, full of subtlety and virtuosity " (FR); "Songwriter, sorcerer of stringed instruments, magician with positive energy " (Abendzeitung Nürnberg)