Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Simon Shaheen and Qantara: Blue Flame

Make no mistake: There’s a whole lot of fusion going on in the music of Simon Shaheen & Qantara. What you hear on their album Blue Flame is a blithe and unabashed juxtaposition of various world-musical cultures. Shaheen views the project less as a crossover composite than as an idealistic bridge between cultures.

Blue Flame’s diversity comes at you from the opening title track, in which the Arabic roots of the accomplished Palestinian Shaheen’s oud interlaces with Latin-American rhythmic qualities and the jazz hues of saxist Billy Drews. Qantara’s musicians weave the beautiful sonic quilt: a non-Arabic percussion stronghold comes from Jamie Haddad and Lorenzo Martinez in concert with Arabic percussionist Steve Sheehan, while guitarist Adam Rogers shows a cherished versatility on acoustic and electric instruments.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published