Diwan Of Beauty And Odd, the first album Tunisian composer, singer and oud player Dhafer Youssef has recorded with an all-American band, carries all the trademarks this exceptional artist is known for: beautiful melodies, heartfelt chanting over infectious grooves and great artistry on his instruments, as well as of all musicians performing with him. These young jazz musicians understand Dhafer's musical world perfectly, and thoroughly enjoy the music making – just listen to how perfectly trumpet player Akinmusire plays in unison with Dhafer or how pianist Aaron Parks duets with him on Fly Shadow Fly. Although the album is more rooted in jazz, his traditional Sufi chants give it a unique and touching quality.
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For over 20 years, the trio of pianist Carla Bley, bassist Steve Swallow, and saxophonist Andy Sheppard have shared each other's creative company. The group's 2016 album, Andando el Tiempo, is a delicately passionate, classically influenced set. A follow-up to 2013's equally compelling Trios, Andando el Tiempo is, surprisingly, only the third album from the group after their initial live 1995 album Songs with Legs. Whereas on Trios they delved into various Bley compositions from throughout her career, on Andando el Tiempo they focus on several more recently penned works. "Naked Bridges/Diving Bridges" brings to mind the impressionism of composer Claude Debussy.