“The fusion of the Tawadros oud with world-class jazz players is seamless and enthralling. Hope In An Empty City represents an extraordinary Australian artist in full flight at the height of his creative journey.”
Every time I hear a new album by Joseph Tawadros I am moved to say this is his best work yet. Hope In An Empty City is a corker! It has mediative serene tracks, some gorgeous solo oud and some of the highest energy music he’s ever produced. The musicians he worked with to create and record this album at the legendary Avatar Studios in New York City are exemplary to say the least. The unison passages of the Tawadros oud and the fabulous playing of Jordanian violinist Layth Sidiq are dazzling. It may seem to be drawing a long bow but I am taken back to the groundbreaking creations of Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar in the seminal East Meets West recordings of the late 60’s.
Joseph Tawadros is Australia’s flamboyant virtuoso of the oud, a North African and Middle Eastern lute and ancestor of the guitar. Currently living in London, he has been playing on the world stage for many years. He is a five-time Aria Award winner and recipient of the Member of the Order of Australia award in 2016. His output in recording and live performance is prolific. It’s impossible to listen to any of his albums, or go to a concert, and not be thrilled by his musicianship as a composer, improviser and his command of this wonderful instrument. Those of us who have followed his career trajectory have become acquainted with his unmatched technical prowess and limitless musical imagination.
While being an accomplished exponent of Middle Eastern music, Tawadros is a master of mixing his relentless musical ambition with other genres and musicians from other disciplines. On this album the fusion of the Arabic instruments and the jazz players on double bass, drums and guitar is seamless and enthralling – at the same time exotic Arabic and very contemporary jazz. Usually Tawadros works with Arabic percussion so the very jazzy rhythm section of Scott Colley on double bass and Dan Weiss on drums takes the album into new and exciting territory. These guys have no trouble keeping up with time signatures that I’d need an abacus to work out. The sound of the fretless oud with the fretted and fretless guitar of David ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski works wonders into the sonic landscape.
Hope In An Empty City represents an extraordinary Australian artist in full flight at the height of his creative journey.
The album sounds wonderful. It’s recorded, mixed and mastered to perfection. The video with the release provides an excellent introduction (see link below).
I’m very glad that Joseph Tawadros has given us this album. It’s another of my favourite Tawadros releases… his best album yet… until the next production.
You can buy a copy of this brilliant album at all the usual outlets by searching: Hope In An Empty City, Joseph Tawadros.