Ibrahim Maalouf



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For an album whose track titles include Doubts, Suspicions and Issues, the latest work from Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf sounds remarkably sure-footed. Maalouf, who plays a trumpet with a fourth valve to allow him to articulate the quarter tones in his homeland's music, composed this as a soundtrack to the 1927 silent movie The Prey Of The Wind, but was also inspired by Miles Davis's 1958 soundtrack to Lift To The Scaffold. The results often suggest Davis's Kind Of Blue given an Arabic voice. As those who caught him at Celtic Connections 2012 will know, Maalouf is a superbly lyrical and deeply emotional player and he shows all his yearning, soulful qualities here alongside New York A-listers Larry Grenadier (bass), Mark Turner (saxophone) and Clarence Penn (drums) and pianist-arranger Frank Woeste. It's quietly persuasive music with strong themes that also gets into choppier waters and merges straightahead jazz with klezmer and Cuban influences to create a sound at once familiar and refreshingly different.

Rob Adams