Bay Area Reporter , CD Review >>
Through oud (Arabic lute), player Marcel Khalifé and his Al Mayadine Quartet speak the music of rebel souls on a mission. From Lebanese-rooted music with a contemporary twist to captivating jazz riffs and humorous variations on “Happy Birthday” (of all things), this disc stands apart.
Khalifé, 54, was born into a Christian family in Lebanon. With childhood influences as diverse as Christian music, Islamic recitations of the Koran, and Arabic sea chanteys, he has created a music that defies categories. Devoted to the cause of reconciliation and peace, the Parisian resident has become a cultural icon in the Arabic world. When you hear pieces such as “Samaï Bayati,” you will immediately recognize a distinctive, compelling voice. 11/11/04