Sunday, 1 December 2013

Dhafer Youssef - Birds Requiem


I think this might be the most beautiful album of 2013; it is certainly the most beautiful jazz album I have heard this year. Tunisian Dhafer Youseff plays the oud, though this isn’t the predominant instrument throughout the 11 tracks, and the accompanying band, especially Nils Petter Molvaer on trumpet, Husnu Senlendirici on clarinet, and Krisjan Randalu on piano, provide the layers of majestic music that wrap the occasional oud playing in a deeply soothing to soaring journey. The most astonishing and exquisite sound is Youseff’s vocal, a sonic falsetto that mesmerises to absolute aural contentment. I don’t know if it is supported in any way, or wholly natural, but what I do know is it is sublime. When the clarinet and voice combine at their beautifully piercing pitch, it is aurally uplifting.

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