Mel M\'rabet ( Oud/Vocals/Percussions)
It is a fact of nature that the deeper and wider the roots, the stronger the tree, and the longer it will thrive. I think the same holds true with music and artists. An artist with deep roots in a tradition, who understands how it connects to and is influenced by others, can create new work that is a natural, seamless extension of all that has gone before.
I think this can be said of Mel M\'rabet. A child of musicians, he grew up Granada, Andalusia, where he began studying the oud as a child. Living where he did, it\'s not surprising that he was immersed in Andalusian music or that he was drawn to the traditions of its constituent elements: the music played by the East Indians, Turks, Kurds and Armenians, as well as music of the Roma, especially flamenco..
M\'rabet has performed with caliber musicians such as StevePotts, Omar Sosa and Cheb Mami, as well as Chano Dominguez and other prominent Spanish flamenco artists.
Mel has become a virtuoso on the oud and a highly respected singer and composer, but he is not a preservationist. Mastery of the traditions and powerful technique have resulted in a very distinctive style of playing that reflects both his travels and his desire to extend the possibilities for the instrument. To that end, he has even begun to build ouds, to enhance the sound and range. Mel M\'rabet, with his roots deep in Andalusia, has become an artist who personifies a proud living tradition.
Victor Nesrallah ( Resonator/Guitar/Drums)
Victor Nesrallah\'s musical portfolio has always been influenced by the blues, indirectly or otherwise. Having released a number of independent recordings rooted in the traditions of folk and world based cultures. Victor also studied classical music of the Arab world while earning his degree in jazz performance from Carleton University.
No stranger to the idea of musical fusion, Victor\'s heritage can be traced to his grandparent\'s Syrian ancestry and while growing up in Ottawa during the 1960\'s, Victor was also influenced by folk roots and popular music styles of the day. An award winning composer and songwriter, Victor\'s compositions have earned regular exposure with public and commercial broadcasters alike. The release of Blood From The Stone(1999) showcased his compositional foray into world fusion, incorporating western song forms juxtaposed against Middle Eastern orchestrations. Contributing to this release was Mel M\'rabet (oud, saz), whom Victor had met in the early 1990\'s while producing a number of world music artists at his Ottawa based studio Freeflying Sound. Their musical paths would converge in the decade that followed culminating with the release of Parallel Views Part 1,a collection of original compositions by Fuze, the duo of Mel M\'Rabet (oud, vocals) and Victor Nesrallah (guitar, resonator) performing modal improvisations intertwined with blues forms.
The album is Jazzy, earthy and provocative, creating a harmonious balance between ancient forms and western traditions. Parallel Views is a musical vision that brings together the multicultural communities that forge the