Music Frames – Mattie Poel

Osama Abdulrasol, the Iraqi who lives in Belgium, enriches the musical spectrum with a stunningly distinctive mix of oriental and western sounds. His new album ‘Jedid‘ is a great collection of spherical music played on cello, accordion, percussion and the convincing voice of Helena Schoeters.

Osama Abdulrasol is a much-sought-after musician who fled to Belgium in 1997 and settled in Ghent. Abdulrasol loves strange instrument combinations. He wrote music for film and theater, worked with Ghent’s violinist Wouter Vandenabeele, the Luthomania group of lute player Philippe Malfeyt and the Dutch band Arifa.

On his new CD ‘Jedid’ we hear him with the unmatched accordionist Philippe Thuriot, the tight percussion played by Francois Taillefer and cellist Lode Vercampt with whom Abdulrasol recorded the CD ‘Zummurude‘ with the group Tri a Trolia in 2008. Particularly nice is the voice of Helena Schoeters. A singer who flatters effortlessly in a balanced mix of western and oriental music. Her voice reminds of Fadia El-Hage, who, like Schoeters, has that bright tone in her vocals. Besides, Schoeters switches organic and fluently from oriental to western color and sings mostly in French. The compositions are written by Abdulrasol and sometimes virtuoso and very picturesque. Beautiful are the slow walk in ‘Camel Walk‘ against the spicy ‘Oriental jazz / funk’ in ‘Gypsy in Baghdad‘. Extremely beautiful and original are the sudden musical changes where especially the accordion causes the ambience change, such as the abrupt musette in ‘Ghaza‘, the B section in ‘78 Sky‘and the fast arpeggio’s who think of Bach. Osama Abdulrasol is a virtuoso on his instrument. He plays the quarter-notes that are so recognizable for Eastern music and, despite the tempered accordion voicing, it matches very well.

Osama Abdulrasol Quintet: ‘Jedid’ (Home records)

10/06/2017

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