Dhafer Youssef: Birds Requiem

The renowned Tunisian oud master's music spans epochs as well as continents.

Listening to other instruments and less-familiar forms of music is a potent way to expand one’s technique and musical comprehension as a guitarist, and this profoundly beautiful album by the renowned Tunisian oud master presents a master class in both. Drawing upon ancient and contemporary timbres, tonalities, and traditions, Youssef’s music spans epochs as well as continents, resulting in a unique sonic space-time continuum. His ensemble features musicians from Turkey, Germany, the U.S., and Norway—including innovative electric guitarist Eivind Aarset and the brilliant trumpeter Nils-Petter Molvaer— all of whom are adept at evolving fresh forms, and infusing them with the unmistakable taste of timelessness. Okeh.