Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Michel Sajrawy's Perfect Union And The Arab-Jazz Merger

I am a sucker for Arabic music, I am a sucker for jazz. I am ceertinaly defenseless against the hybrid of Arabic music and jazz. Guitarist Michel Sajrawy knows both genres very well which equips him to oversee a perfect merger.

Michel makes the kind of music that can be enjoyed by those who do not like foreign music. Instead of putting Arabic music in the front, it comes up naturally in a song. Most people would cheer this creative way to adding a flavor but keeping the base and the guitar going. I know the kind of music he makes is popular in downtown Beirut and Amman, people are finding ways to bring two different musical notes together. Michel Sajrawy does it so well

“Suddenly I came up with a maqam-based solo, in the middle of a rock song,” Sajrawy recalls. “My musician friends were fighting me, shouting, ‘It’s maqam! You should play traditional rock!’ I have a unique way that makes me produce these sounds on ordinary guitar, with total freedom to play everything from maqamat to bebop lines.”

He is a Palestinian Christian and primer British conservatory education, Sajrawy finds that uniting disparate cultural and sonic worlds comes second nature. His approach is a little different than what you would expect. Instead of using a fretless guitar or adding additional quarter-tone frets, Sajrawy found he could express the maqamat modes, rich with evocative gradations in tone and tuning, on a regular old guitar. Additional frets, especially high on the neck, hamstrung him, and he found the sound of a fretless did not have the right feel.

"Arabop" A new album release, coming out on the 9th of October 2012

Michel Sajrawy & Band: Live In Geneva

Musicians: Michel Sajrawy – Composer, Arranger, Guitarist & Keyboards Programing, Electric BassAmiram Granot - SaxMaali Klar - Soprano SaxSamir Makhoul - Oud & VocalValeri Lipets – Contra BassWisam Arram - Darbuka & ShakersStas Zilberman - DrumsNehaya Damouni - ChantAdnan Haddad - Speech


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