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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

Le Trio Joubran

By Ernest Barteldes
Published June 23, 2008


Lovers of the oud will appreciate this trio of Palestinian-born brothers whose richly textured music, accompanied by little more than percussion and the occasional vocal line, is guided by the modernist poetry of Mahmoud Darwish. Poignant and passionate to the core, the recording shows the strengths of Samir Joubran and his brothers Wissam and Adnan most noticeably on the title track, where one plays a repeated variation on a theme as the others improvise around him meanwhile, percussionist Yousef Hbeisch weaves deftly through the melodies, taking care to give the instruments enough room to breathe. The influence of Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin (whose classic live album Friday Night In San Francisco inspired the inception of Le Trio Joubran) can be felt on the flamenco-tinged “Shajan,” while the brooding “Tanâsin I (Adnan)” showcases the prodigious talents of youngest brother Adnan. A more upbeat mood drives “Masâr,” which invites the listener to relax and enjoy the ride—sound advice for digging this disc in its entirety.