Home | High-End Audio Reviews | Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags | Daily News | Search   

  High-End Audiophile Review Magazine & Audio Equipment Reviews

  High-End Audiophile Equipment Reviews
  Gear Reviews, News, Show Reports, And More!

  Celebrating 25 Years Of Service To Music Lovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tarik Banzi
Vision

By Srajan Ebaen
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Tarik Banzi Vision

Compact Disc Compact Disc: Al-Andalus Records 194 Compact Disc

 

  Moroccan oud player Tarik Banzi heads the Oregon-based Al-Andalus ensemble. He now presents us with his first solo release of ten original compositions/improvisations that alternate between single-voice solos and subtle augmentations by percussion, or multi-tracked numbers with Tarik accompanying himself on acoustic or electric oud.

As the Saz is the quintessentially Classical Turkish solo instrument of nearly mythic proportions, so the ten or eleven-stringed bulbous lute with the angled neck called oud is its Arabian equivalent. It is equally and deeply entrenched in a Classical milieu of complicated modal maqams, florid Taqsim embellishments and microtonal non-tempered scalar subdivisions.

According to anthropologist Dr. David McMurray, the word "lute" is actually derived from the Arabic "al'ud", giving credence to the oud's relative antiquity, seniority over its European counterpart, and the constant use it has enjoyed in Islamic culture. Tarik Banzi grew up in Tetouan, Morocco, the northernmost point of Africa. From there, sailors throughout the centuries crossed the Straits of Gibraltar for Spain. 

Spain too is where Tarik completed his studies in Fine Arts before he permanently relocated to the US. Well versed in his native musical tradition, the Spanish apprenticeship added ingredients from Flamenco culture. This quite naturally culminated in his fascination with Moorish Spain and the consequent formation of Al-Andalus dedicated to this uniquely creative, multi-cultural period in European history.

His present stay in the United States, the cultural cauldron of our world, seems only a logical extension. Tarik is a musician who has dedicated himself to blend authentic ethnic performance styles. He modernizes them just enough to remain appealing and accessible to Western ears that weren't reared on the intricacies of Classical Arabian music.

By concentrating on haunting melodic strains of great lyricism that downplay heavy-metal fret board exorcisms, Tarik's solo oud talks to our untrained ears very compellingly. Like a singer, he relies on the ebb and flow of the breath to impart a strong organic sense of song in his structures. The most unusual - and perhaps experimental - aspect here is the appearance of wailing electric oud, at first quite jarring in its modernistic rock bite, like hearing modern language in a period movie, but only used for occasional color and thus more questionable accent than fundamental faux pas.

Vision is a contemplative album of great and not always immediately obvious depth. It paints with a burnished and virile brush against the canvas of silence. It's not background fare but, similar to the meditatively exploring Alap intros of Classical Indian raga, in need of focused attention to hold the otherwise only faintly sketched musical spaces of the pure solo exploits. The overdubbed insert tracks are supported on a more worldly and steady rhythm base. Via the inherent juxtaposition of the alternating track sequencing, this creates the effect of wandering in and out, from the introspective solitude of a quiet room onto a balcony overlooking a bustling street, and back again.

Vision is a quite the rarity. It showcases an instrument only superficially familiar to Western ears, by an artist uniquely qualified to bridge the inherent chasm with a deft sensitivity for both sides. 

The only proviso for following Tarik safely over his bridge - just as a real and swaying suspension bridge would require - is to bring yourself to the adventure with the totality of your attention. I'd wager a guess you'd not only enjoy "sticking your neck out" then but return with a newfound appreciation for the Arabian oud that might have lusting for more. Now you should investigate the other two albums on Al-Andalus' website. Also, type Anouar Brahem and Thierry 'Titi' Robin into the search engine of your favorite on-line music vendor. This will set you on a pre-charted and promising course into the fascinating aural world of the oud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
AXPONA 2020 Show Report
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report
New York Audio Show 2019 Report
Capital Audiofest 2019 Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2019
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show Report 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Print Magazines
audioXpress
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

 

    

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2020  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.