Rabih Abou-Khalil

Morton's Foot

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The band on Morton's Foot is a truly international ensemble. Composer and master oud player Rabih Abou-Khalil has assembled a cast that includes accordionist Luciano Biondini and clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi along with Michel Godard on tuba, Jarrod Cagwin on trap and frame drums, and exotic Italian vocalist Gavino Murgia. Abou-Khalil composed all the tracks here. He shares the front line with Biondini and Mirabassi as Godard adds a serious bottom-end punch to the rhythm section. Certainly there are precedents for a group like this: Richard Galliano's 1980s bands as well as Chris Speed and Brad Shepik's Pachora, for example. Abou-Khalil's compositions here, as on his other recordings, involve detailed, complex, and labyrinthine melodic structures, though rhythmic invention and harmonic counterpoint add balance and offer tight turns of phrase and dynamic shifts. The title track, "Lobotomie Mi Baba Lu," and "Hopping Jack" are standout tracks, yet it is the sum of everything here that makes this one of Abou-Khalil's very best outings.

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