Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lisan al Tarab preview by Tarek Yamani

Popular JLT pizzeria and jazz club Jazz Pizza Express hosted the launch of Lebanese-born NY-based jazz musician and composer Tarek Yamani's new Arabesque jazz fusion album, Lisan al Tarab, at a packed Saturday night event.

Yamani played a two-set performance on the piano, promoting the album. He was joined onstage by local jazz musicians, the Afif brothers Rony and Elie, on the drums and double bass, respectively. The show saw good form from all on harmony and solos, making for a night of excellent jazz entertainment.

(clockwise from left top) Tarek Yamani; Elie Afif; Rony Afif

Available for eco-friendly download at great value, Lisan al Tarab is the continuation of Yamani's jazz fusion experiment, in the vein of 2012's Ashur. While it too incorporates Arabic musical elements and a piano trio configuration, there are some fresh sounds and structures to be heard, especially with the inclusions of stronger starts, Latin jazz beats, subtle bass lines, and moments when jazz and Arabic notes are seamlessly fired in rapid succession. My personal favorite track was "Fi Hulal Al Afrah", which is heavy on the Arabic rhythms while maintaining a classic jazz flow, and I also liked the piano solo "Beirut Zahra Fi Gheir Awanha".

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