LIVE AT ABBEY ROAD
This album contains a new peak in Joseph Tawadros’s career: a free improvisation called Father, Where Art Thou (for his late father). With each listening its effect intensifies, as if it has depths too emotionally profound to absorb on just one hearing. Exquisitely recorded in London’s fabled Abbey Road Studios, the initial motif from Tawadros’s solo oud is developed quite daringly even as that development carries such a weight of anguish. The same motif is carried over into the ensuing That Night, That Room, this time with Tawadros’s brother James joining on bendir (frame drum) so a slowish groove now bears that weight, and Tawadros initially lets his notes hang in the air more, before the two instruments’ conversation heats up and the mood evolves.
After several albums where diverse ensembles have realised intricately composed material, here Tawadros has the space and freedom to explore fresh vocabularies for the oud, while the brothers’ rapport allows abundant music to bloom from the merest kernel of an idea. Both players have never sounded better, and that’s lofty praise, indeed.