Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Dhafer Youssef is a Tunisian Oud player, vocalist and composer from Teboulba. To him, mastering traditional vocal performances is a heritage and a family tradition. He began his musical explorations as a young child with his grandfather in quranic recitals. From there to singing along with his mother's radio set, he eventually recorded his village's call to prayer for use in the town mosque. Upon reaching adulthood, he moved to Tunis and joined the musical conservatory before continuing his musicology studies in Vienna. While there he became seduced by jazz and other genres, finally leading him to record his first album "Musafir" in 1996. In 2016, Youssef traveled to New York City, a place where he had spent a few years early in his career. It was here that his new album "Diwan of Beauty and Odd" was recorded in the legendary Sear Sound Studio with the best musicians on the New York Jazz Scene including Aaron Parks, Ben Williams, Mark Guiliana and Ambrose Akinmusire. The eleven works featured on the release are an exploration of one of the most attractive dualities: that of the beautiful and of the strange.
Personnel: Dhafer Youssef (vocals, oud); Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet); Aaron Parks (piano); Ben Williams (double bass); Mark Guiliana (drums).
Audio Mixer: Nguyên Lê.
Recording information: Nilento Studio, NYC (03/2016); Searsound Studio, NYC (03/2016).
Illustrator: Mohammad Zaza.
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