Ibrahim Maalouf gives me this circular feeling, so much so that I will sometimes put a track on loop to keep the experience flowing. He is a Lebanese trumpet player, born in Beirut and raised in France. Maalouf's father, also a trumpet player, was the inventor of the micro-tonal trumpet, or "quarter tone trumpet," which makes this sound particularly unique and distinctly Arabic.
Ibrahim Maalouf combines classical jazz with beautiful Arab maqams to create a sound that is totally engaging. The traditional call and response between the musician and the audience is evident in this video from a concert I attended in Istanbul last year (though I didn't make the video). The predominantly Turkish audience recognizes Maalouf's song Harmandalı (the name of a Turkish village) and is eager to participate.
While the quality of the video is not ideal, I wanted to capture the energy of the live crowd. For an extended version of Maalouf's talents, check out the track BEIRUT. I really had a hard time choosing between these two songs, because Beirut is such a moving love-letter of a song to this city which has known so much suffering. In Beirut, Maalouf follows the path of so many other blues and jazz artists; He acknowledges pain and loss, while also resisting its power over his spirit - even adding an electric guitar 8 minutes into the song. This special trumpet may have been his father's instrument, but here Ibrahim Maalouf makes the sound his own.