Wajdi Cherif | Phrygian Istikhbar

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Jazz: World Fusion World: African Moods: Featuring Piano
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Phrygian Istikhbar

by Wajdi Cherif

PHRYGIAN ISTIKHBAR" (Oriental jazz). "An interesting innovation on the artistic and cultural scene in our region" (TUNIS HEBDO 2003). A unique blend of jazz, Arabic, and Tunisian rhythms and sounds by one of the finest Tunisian pianists...
Genre: Jazz: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Voyage
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6:30 $0.99
2. El Gasba
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4:35 $0.99
3. Blurred Vision
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5:08 $0.99
4. Waiting For Paris
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5:33 $0.99
5. Phrygian Istikhbar
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6:10 $0.99
6. Tunis By Night
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2:30 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
This CD was Described as "An interesting innovation on the musical and artistic scene in our region" in TUNIS HEBDO. "Phrygian Istikhbar" features a unique and contemporary blend of jazz, Arabic, and Tunisian rhythms and sounds by one of the finest jazz pianists on the Tunisian musical stage...

"PHRYGIAN ISTIKHBAR" features compositions of pianist Wajdi Cherif which are a mixture of jazz, Tunisian classical and folkloric musical traditions and rhythms. You can hear arabic percussions such as "Darbouka" or "Bendir" played by the distinguished Tunisian percussion player "Habib Samandi" on "El Gasba" or "Phrygian Istikhbar". "Voyage", the opening tilte begins with a very soulful introduction played piano solo on arabic modes and scales, soon followed by the melody that leads to the masterful improvisations of percussion player Habib Samandi. "Blurred Vision" presents a bass solo by Diego Imbert that goes in perfect harmony with the fantastic arabic rhythms played by Habib...


Wajdi Cherif: piano, composition, arrangements.
Habib Samandi: tunisian percussion (derbouka, bendir).
Jeff Boudreau: drums.
Diègo Imbert: akoustic Bass.


"Tunisian pianist Wajdi Cherif with his CD EP Phrygian Istikhbar, while retaining the flavour of his native country's music, places more emphasis on the jazz tradition, resulting in a fresh new sound that brings a different slant to the concept of world music". John Kelman (www.jazzreview.com)

"On the short programme of Phrygian Istikhbar, Cherif covers a lot of territory. From the romantic solo piece "Tunis by Night" to the bendir-driven title track to the Bill Evans-informed, lightly-swinging "Waiting for Paris", Cherif shows himself to be a diverse and interesting composer and performer". John Kelman (www.ejazznews.com)

"I like fusions and mixing genres and have to say it didn't disappoint. Cherif is a young pianist and composer who has a clear vision of how he can merge the melodies and rhythms of Tunisia with the verve of a jazz quartet". Paul Donnelly (www.jazzreview.com)

"An interesting innovation on the musical and artistic scene in our region" TUNIS HEBDO (June 2003).

"Each composition is opened with a typical tunisian musical style or sound but moves gradually to harmonies charged with the imagination and the [musical] sensitivity of [pianist] wajdi cherif." TUNIS HEBDO June 2003. (www.tunishebdo.tn)


WAJDI CHEIRIF: Short Biography

Pianist Wajdi Cherif, a native of Tunisia, has emerged as an important young artist on the concert stage in his country. Wajdi Cherif who resides now in PARIS, France, is a versatile musician known both as an accomplished composer and pianist mixing jazz with the sounds and rhythms of tunisia. After accompagning famous tunisian artists for 7 years in many renowned venues in Tunisia, France and Italy, he set himself recently as a leader to his own band. His distinctive performances as a leader received critical acclaim. He received in 2001 a sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture in tunisia to record his first album "PHRYGIAN ISTIKHBAR". Among his most recent performances were concerts in Tunis, in such important events such as "jazz à Tunis" in 2001 where he played an opening for one of the jazz giants "Archie Shepp", in addition to his participation with his quartet in the "Tabarka Jazz Festival" the same year. He led the jazz workshops in this festival too with well known guest artists such as Paco Sery, Aldi Meola, Freddy Ravel, etc. Among his recent performances are "Majazz Festival" (2003) in Algeria, "Tabarka Jazz Festival" (Tunisia), Tanjazz (Moroco), Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), Carthage International Festival etc. Please Visit the artist's website for upcoming performances at www.wajdicherif.com



to write a review

fawzi chekili

A grand piano in an oasis right into the sahara
a valuable effort by Wajdi Cherif with this first release, nice piano playing and a personnal touch.Beautiful ideas that do bring occidental and oriental cultures get really close.


middleast meets america to create something great
wadji in the typical piano trio takes american music (jazz), and infuses middle eastern and northern african melodies and rhythm into it to create something beautiful and unique.


This is an Album that you will not forget!
The album intitled "Phrygian Istikhbar" presents compositions that reveal a refined mixture of jazz and ethnic sounds of the musical culture of Tunisia.
"Voyage", the opening title of the album introduces us into a rich atmosphere of oriental elements that fuses into a resonant ensemble modeled by dreamy improvisations masterfully played by the percussionist Habib Samandi. The other songs travels horizons of pure improvisation and dreamy rhythms. An unusual album almost athmospheric with spiritual light sounds. This is an Album that you will not forget!


If you love exotic escapes, get this CD right away!
Wajdi Cherif presents an elegant and energetic jazz piano playing and displays thrilling different oriental musical influences. If you love exotic escapes, get this CD right away!


It is an album which significantly expands the genre of 'World Music'
It is an album which significantly expands the genre of 'World Music' as it has typical North African flavours but it is also 'straight-ahead' jazz composition and improvisation with a simplistic beauty which has cross over appeal, an album which will please many kinds of jazz fans.
Wes Gillespie

Sara B.

Thank you very much for this fantastic innovation in the world of arabic music.
I can't stop listening to this fantastic CD. I like very much the way in which you mixed jazz with the rhythms and sounds of Tunisian music. Your playing and improvisations on the CD are very poetic. I like mostly Phrygian istikhbar which takes me high each time I listen to it. Hope to see you soon performing this piece on stage as I think it will be a memorable experience for me. Good Luck!


Reminds me of the Arbian Nights...
An interesting blend of oriental sounds with jazz. A sensual Journey into a world of fantacy; reminds me of the Arabian Nights...I recommend the CD to all lovers of world music and oriental rhythms. (faith1975th@yahoo.fr)