THE BLUEBIRD, THE MYSTIC AND THE FOOL
All music is a dialogue, and here Joseph Tawadros zeroes in on discourses between moods, with the oud player’s compositional breadth starring as much as the brilliant improvising. The 21 shortish pieces make the listening experience one of constant flux, whether between serenity and joy, or between a rush of supercharged energy and a plunge into an abyss of grief. Tawadros’s composing is very much the musical incarnation of the storyteller’s art, after all, and therefore he is fully alive to programming his pieces so that one is swept along on this undulating emotional ride in a way that is simultaneously cohesive and surprise-laden.
This time he opted to record in Sydney, pulling together such regular collaborators as Matt McMahon (piano), Dimitri Vouros (clarinet), Karl Dunnicliff (bass) and James Tawadros (percussion) into a new aggregation: one that has considerable heft at its disposal, but also the gossamer lightness that sets off many of Tawadros’s most bewitching melodies, such as The Secret Spell. Exceptional dialogues between players and between compositions and improvisations ensue, with Tawadros offering startling solos on Inner Birth and Echoes of Angel.