Earlier in 2008, American bass player Miles Jay arrived in Lebanon carrying nothing but his custom-made, unusual instrument, a hybrid mix of acoustic bass and African N’goni; he travelled extensively in the region, jamming at length with Syrian, Egyptian and Lebanese folk musicians, as well as local rock guitarist Charbel Haber. For this highly anticipated performance in the New Oriental Sounds Festival, he will be joined by flutist Naissam Jalal, his partner in the Bakash trio, and Lebanese percussionist Ahmad el Khatib.
The evening includes a number of pieces performed by Miles and Naissam alone, close in spirit to their Bakash recording of 2007, in the sense that they are inhabited by atmospheric, ambient elements, following which they will be rejoined by el Khatib on percussion; Miles and Ahmad will then provide a rolling, trance-like bed of rhythms for Naissam to improvise and wander on, recalling at once the atonal elements of Miles’ influences, and Naissam’s harmonic, European leanings.
The 3 musicians have been rehearsing intensively for the past few weeks, and their audience will surely be enthralled by their heady concoction of sounds and rhythms.
This collaboration is scheduled to coincide with the re-release of Bakash’s 1st album, now presented in pristine, re-mastered and remixed form by Incognito Productions.
Saturday 22/03, at 8.30pm
La Crypte de l’Eglise Saint Joseph, Beirut
[Photo of Miles Jay by May Arida]