Ibrahím Maalouf - Diagnostic (5 stars)

Ibrahím Maalouf - Diagnostic

A groundbreaking album of brooding French-Arabic tones from trumpeter

(Harmonia Mundi)

The brooding French-Arabic quarter tones of Ibrahím Maalouf’s trumpet first seduced as guest on the late Lhasa de Sela’s desert island disc The Living Road. Bewitching then, Maalouf’s own debut with a brace of tremendous musicians blissfully and disconcertingly blows the mind.

True, its’ eclecticism may not be fluently coherent enough for some as it vamps from pied piper sounds (at times emulating the patina of Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s saxes), to flash choruses and epic moments. Yet to talk of jazz alone would betray Maalouf’s funky Eastern shamanic presence, meditative piano poetry and sublime cacophonic rallies. A groundbreaking album.

Ibrahím Maalouf plays with Cuba’s Omar Sosa, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Fri 3 Feb, part of Celtic Connections.

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