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Marcel Khalifé: Andalusia of Love (Nagam Records)

Poised somewhere along the edge where traditional Near Eastern music meets Debussy, Andalusia of Love is an album-long suite whose title references the period in medieval Spain when Muslims, Christians and Jews creatively coexisted within one civilization. Lebanese composer Marcel Khalifé weaves the music around the words of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Khalifé is renowned as a master of the oud, an instrument with a long heritage of players whose improvisatory impulses call jazz to mind. Accompanying him on this dreamy composition are his sons, Rami Khalifé on piano and Bachar on dumbeg and other percussion.