Rahim AlHaj: Little Earth (UR Music, 9/28/10)
Rahim AlHaj: “Morning in Hyattsville”
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Rahim_AlHaj_Morning_In_Hyattsville.mp3|titles=Rahim AlHaj: “Morning in Hyattsville”]
Hailed as one of Iraq’s most paramount composers and an esteemed oud musician, Rahim AlHaj is a highly accomplished artist but also a former political prisoner. After a series of moves to seek refuge from his country’s oppression, he settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2000 and begun new compositions.
Little Earth, AlHaj’s eighth album, presents his vision of a musical panorama where divergent ideas and concepts can flourish together. Over the course of two discs, he taps a hotbed of talented guest musicians to transcend the East/West dichotomy. Listeners will appreciate it for its musical underpinnings — the Iraqi maqam tradition, the instrumental juxtapositions, and wide range of sonar landscapes — as well as its desire for a shared peace.