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Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday's French music break - Ibrahim Maalouf, "True sorry"

You don't need to be able to speak a word of French to be able to understand this week's Friday's French music break.

No, it's not another one of those groups with a somewhat ludicrous name singing in English.

In fact there are no lyrics at all - because "True sorry" is just a wonderful instrumental brought to you by Ibrahim Maalouf.

Ibrahim Maalouf (screenshot from Les Victoires de la musique)

It's a track taken from his most recent album, "Illusions" which earned Maalouf the "World music album of the year" award at the Victoires de la musique (the French equivalent of the Grammys) in February.

Born in Beirut into a family of musicians (his father Nassim is a trumpeter and his mother Nada, a pianist) Maalouf moved to Paris during the Lebanese civil war.

The 33-year-old is described  as "a pioneering figure in the world of contemporary jazz, blending the genre with pop, soul, electro, hip-hop, French songs and his own Lebanese roots" and he has the international awards to prove it.

He has worked with international artists such as Sting, Amadou et Mariam and Vanessa Paradis, composed music for the cinema, collaborated with symphony and chamber orchestras, created his own label to produce his albums and other projects and artists, and, and, and.

In fact you can read Maalouf on his official site, here.

Maalouf is currently taking his "Illusions" tour around France with concerts also scheduled in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Morocco.

Olympia in Paris already full  but extra dates have been added in the capital when he plays at La Cigalle in October.

He'll also be appearing at a number of jazz festivals,

For those of you who might adhere to Joey "The Lips" Fagan's description, in the 1991 film adaptation of Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments" that "jazz is musical masturbation (he actually used a more vulgar term in the film)" Maalouf might well make you think again.

While for jazz aficionados, Maalouf will most certainly be a welcome addition to your collection of he isn't already.

Anyway, enough words.

Pin back those lugholes and listen to what Maalouf does best.

"True sorry" is four minutes of pure magic.

And because you can never really get enough of a good thing, three different versions.

First up that performance from Les Victoires de la musique, followed by a (perhaps more refined) duo trumpet-guitar interpretation from a recent appearance on Anne-Sophie Lapix's "C à vous" on France 5  and finally the studio recording.

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