If a master trumpeter like Ibrahim Maalouf releases his first CD, you expect fireworks, yet unfortunately the opposite is true. French-Lebanese Maalouf grew up in a musical family, with his father a famous trumpeter and the inventor of the quartertone trumpet, suited to play traditional Arabic music, his mother a pianist. He's the winner of 15 classical music awards for his trumpet playing. He worked three years on this album, with over 30 musicians, and recorded in Paris and Beirut, mixed it in Montréal and mastered it in New York. And the result is a disappointment. True, his trumpet playing is fabulous, but the music isn't. It often falls into the deep abyss of cheap sentimentalism, electronic and ambient flotsam, horrible sounding electronic drums, mixing lots of influences into one style, but the mix doesn't take, turning into a kind of Erik Truffaz with a middle-eastern tinge. The best parts are the ones which are pure improvisation without any additions, showing what we could have had, if the guys in the studio had only shown some more discipline and restraint ... and the worst thing is : underneath it all, there is some beauty hidden, covered in layers of commercial rubbish which are impossible to scrape off. That makes the dissapointment even bigger.
What you don't get on this CD, is the kind of music which you can see on this video-clip with Ibrahim Maalouf.
Click here for a ater review of Nassim Maalouf's solo trumpet CD.