The album is at once an extension and an audacious departure from the tradition of the oud. Despite his formidable knowledge of the maqarnat, an ornate system of modes that anchors Arabic music, he seldom bases his improvisations directly on the maqams. His phrasing is pure and uncluttered, expressing itself through silence nearly as often as sound. … Composed of elegantly flowing lines and somber, breathlike silences, the music shimmers with the overtones of the piano. … Mr. Brahem bases several of the tunes on spare, broken chords, repeated in the childlike manner of Satie. Simple though they are, however, they contain beguiling Arabesques. The three musicians rarely appear at once, performing as a trio on only seven of the album’s 12 tracks. For the most part, you hear duets – piano and oud, oud and accordion, accordion and oud. The musicians often double each other’s lines, but seldom in unison, which enhances the music’s intimacy while producing a floating, echo effect.If every band projects “an image of coummunity,” as the critic Greil Marcus once suggested, then Mr. Brahem’s trio – part takht, part jazz trio, part chamber ensemble – evokes a kind of 21st century Andalusia, in which European and Arab sensibilities have merged so profoundly that the borders between them have dissolved. The image may be utopian, but its beauty is undeniable.
Adam Shatz, The New York Times
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Throughout the record, the musicians maintain an exquisite balance and make only subtle changes in tempo or tone. Their sense of melancholy is so natural and comfortable it's childlike. On this tune, "Leila and the Land of the Carousel" a waltzing rhythm and revolving melody suggest a girl on that classic joyride…When he quit the oud for a while and played the piano instead, Anouar Brahem recovered his powers of musical myth-making. On this record, he creates a fairy tale setting and ultimately a storybook ending. The accordion lays down sustained chords like lengthening shadows in a forest. The piano conjures low-key sunlight and offers overtones of reconciliation. And in the arabesque path of "The Black Cat's Footsteps," Brahem finds a way back home to his beloved oud and to the songbird inside.
All things considered, National public Radio- USA

Who would have thought that the supremely subtle oud could be featured on a recording with piano, that most dominantly Western of instruments? Meticulously arranged and ideally, gorgeously recorded, Le pas du chat noir features Tunisian oud virtuoso/composer Anouar Brahem in a fresh setting conceived at the keyboard and then realized with pianist François Couturier and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier. The result is as redolent of the French minimalism of Satie and, even more so, his Catalan successor Mompou as it is of traditional Arabic music. There is a hushed, highly concentrated quality to this Pan-Mediterranean musical “haiku”, with the notes purified down to their absolute essence. The entire package-music, sound, cover design – is ECM at its best. As much as any of the label’s “crossover” hits, this album brims with appeal for all who have an ear for the best in music.
Bradley Bambarger, BillBoard

The album is like a sad rhapsody, full of shadowy mirages and blue echoes, the prevailing melancholy not dour and heavy but rather light and cloudy. Names like Satie, Debussy, Mounir Bachir, even Eno in acoustic mode keep flashing across your mental screen as you listen. This is academy music with no clothes on, naked and awkward, honest and beautiful. Shut your eyes and you could be in the port of Dar el Baida, a seagull swooping over a grey-blue sea and huge cranes and rusty hulled freighters in the background, the light and forgetful breeze brushing your cheek. Le pas du chat noir features uncontrived performances of cat-like agility – soft, bright-eyed and magical. It is a brilliant piece of work.
Andy Morgan, Songlines

I'm sure to say that [Khomsa] it is one of the great records of the year. In its unique deployment of influences and instrumentation it is also unobtrusively ground - breaking [...] Brahem is at the forefront of jazz because he is far beyond it.
G.Dyer, The Guardian 

"If young oriental musicians are now rediscovering the oud, it is to a large degree thanks to Brahem"
Mike Zwerin, The Herald Tribune

The Calif El Outhek once said, very wisely, referring to Al Mawsili, the master of Arab vocal art:" each time he sings I have the impres-sion that my kingdom becomes greater". In listening to Anouar Brahem play I can say that the kingdom of music becomes greater" [...] Prophetic music. When the Tunisian Anouar Brahem plays the oud, the musical cul-tures of the East and West are reconciled [...] He is so calm and sovereign that the man from Tunisia, reclining on his divan, seems to have gone much further than many a jazz musician busily seeking for new music.
Wolfgang Sandner, Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeïtung

[Conte de l'incroyable Amour] The album winds and un-winds round the poetic talent of Anouar Brahem’s lute [...] charmed, we follow it through the subtle com-mands of its melody, the si-lences of its musical phrases, through the unspoken that lures us deep into oriental paths, a poetry of light and delicate beats
Véronique Mortaigne, Le Monde

Dans le nomadisme ascétique du oudiste tunisien Anouar Brahem, on peut déceler un cousinage avec Ravel et Debussy, reconnaître des effluves de tango, entendre des échos de boîte à musique. Faut-il pour autant parler de musique du monde à son propos ? Lui préfère être associé aux musiques contemporaines mais on pourrait l'affilier au jazz. « Chant silencieux », est-il écrit dans le livret à propos de ses musiques instrumentales inclassables, ici judicieusement rehaussées par le piano de François Couturier et l'accordéon de Jean-Louis Matinier. La formule vise juste pour dire les ambiances méditatives, la dimension introspective, les élégances feutrées de cet album, le septième qu'il a enregistré sur l'exigeant label munichois ECM. Avec, comme dans la grande tradition arabo-persane, le silence qui vient entre les notes pour dire le désir d'une fuite, la quête d'un ailleurs.
Elianne Azoulay, Télérama

Une mélancolie méditative, des lignes ondoyantes, du silence bruissant de volupté, de poésie secrète. Telle vit est se vit la musique d'Anouar Brahem. Sa relation privilégiée avec le Jazz est évidente. Il se dit aussi interpellé par le flamenco, la musique classique indienne ou celle de la renaissance et n'oublie jamais bien sûr la musique orientale. C'est le coeur de ce nouvel enregistrement, effectué avec deux complices fidèles, son compatriote Lassaad Hosni aux percussions et le clarinettiste turc Barbaros Erkose. Tous trois forment un ensemble exemplaire de connivence, de délicatesse et inventent un délicieux voyage
Patrick Labesse, Le Monde

Il est difficile de cloisonner la création artistique de Anouar Brahem dans un seul style, à la fois Jazz, tradition orientale, ou new age, tant il est pris entre respect des traditions et désir d'innover. Il a su faire de cet instrument destiné initialement à accompagner les chants traditionnels un instrument solo. Ses disques, fruits de rencontres et de voyages, provoqués par une curiosité intarissable ont reçu un remarquable succès.
Cécile de Comarmond, Libération

L'avant dernier opus d’Anouar Brahem "Thimar" enregistré en compagnie du contrebassiste Dave Holland et du saxophoniste John Surman, était un pur chef d'oeuvre. Cette convergence de suspensions et de glissandos félins est devenu un disque culte en quelque trois ans. Pour son dernier disque, Astrakan café, il retrouve des couleurs plus classiques. Autant de vibrations tendues, charnues qui souvent ont tutoyé les anges.
Le monde de la musique

Après son splendide "Thimar" avec John Surman et Dave Holland, le magicien du Oud continue d'explorer la formule du trio. L'infinie musicalité qu'il met en oeuvre avec son compatriote Lassaad Hosni et le clarinettiste turc Barbaros Erkose rappelle combien dérisoires sont les étiquettes. Maîtrise instrumentale de chaque intervenant, intense écoute mutuelle, compositions superbes, richesse des atmosphères, parti pris de la sobriété et de l'intériorité, tout converge vers une magnificence dépourvue d'apparat, une poésie existentielle.
Fara C., Jazz Magazine

Anouar Brahem is one of the best known Arab musicians and it may even be said that he has suspassed most of them in his mastery of his instrument and in his sense of opening [...] He has removed arabic music from its tradionalist yoke to bring it closer-with both a spirit of opening and a return to the sources- to the concerns of his generation and the aspirations of his time.
Inaya Jabeur, Essafir 

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