News, Thoughts, and other Words

Live Shows!

I'm very excited to finally announce a few shows coming up.  It's been almost exactly two years since I had to cancel all my performances due to the pandemic, and more than anything, I've missed live events—playing music with people…

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Hubbi & Raqset al-Atlas Sheet Music

Here are two great tunes that are a lot of fun to play, and very conducive to adding improvisations in performance.
"Raqset al-Atlas" is a famous tune by the Moroccan musician Abdelkader al-Rashdi (عبد القادر الراشدي).   Listening to it recently…

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Talwin (Touyour) - Anouar Brahem Transcription

Here's another favorite from Anouar Brahems Thimar on ECM.  This recording was a rearrangement of Brahem's earlier song "Touyour."  This is a beautiful and rare example of Brahem's vocal music.  For Thimar, Brahem took the instrumental interludes from the song…

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Qasida La Ta‘dhili

This is a piece I heard recently and decided to transcribe.  It has a really beautiful and fascinating rhythmic structure, a fact pointed out on Facebook by Faisal Zedan.  Faisal is a master percussionist from Syria with a deep…

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Arabian Waltz - Rabih Abou-Khalil

Here's one I've been asked for a number of times.  For some reason, I never got around to it before.  This tune first appeared on Rabih Abou-Khalil's album Tarab, and later on the album Arabian Waltz.  It's the…

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Conte de L'Incroyable Amour - Anouar Brahem

Continuing my look through Anouar Brahem's music, here's another old one. 

An interesting thing about Brahem is that is recordings are often not perfect performances, and this tune is another example of that.  The first time through the B section…

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Qurb - Anouar Brahem

This is a lovely piece by Anouar Brahem, one he has rarely performed.  The main recording available is Thimar, with Dave Holland and John Surman. 

This album was my first experience with Brahem's music; it came out in 1998…

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Taqasim Lesson: Rubato on the Beat & Polyrhythms

I thought I'd share a few thoughts about a general concept/technique in Arabic music that I think of as "rubato on the beat" or "out-of-time but in-time." I've never heard anyone use a specific term for this in Arabic, if…

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Parfum de Gitane (aka Itr al-Ghajar) عطر الغجر

Here's my transcription of one Anouar Brahem's most popular pieces, Parfum de Gitane.   This sheet music is based on the version he plays on "Astrakan Cafe," which has some minor differences from the version he plays on "Barzakh."

This is…

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Oud Position Study - Etude for first course

This is a little exercise I wrote to practice the higher positions and achieving consistent intonation on the oud.   The notes are all C major on the first string. 

I suggest following the fingerings exactly to get the intended benefits…

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Lecon du Oud (Oud Lesson) - Anouar Brahem

I thought I'd repost some old transcriptions.  Yesterday's post of Anouar Brahem's "The Astounding Eyes of Rita" reminded me of some older transcriptions of his music that I did ages ago. 

I'd posted some of these ages ago on my…

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The Whole-Tone Pentatonic Scale

This is a sound that (if memory serves) I first noticed when transcribing John Coltrane's solo on "I Hear A Rhapsody" from his 1957 album "Lush Life."  I don't think I've ever come across anyone discussing this particular scale, so…

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"Zhivago" lick, Part 2

(Note: Originally published November 2009 - accidentally deleted, so reposting)

In the previous post, I put up a transcription of a signature line from Kurt Rosenwinkel's solo on "Zhivago" from The Next Step. The line is basically planing a…

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