In Ahmed Nazi‘s Album “”Ethbat Hala”” or Stating a Condition, one could hear through the music that he is following his heart and being quite different in style than in any other work I’ve listened to. The music makes you feel entranced, thoughtful, and even curious at times.

One almost hears the bass played by Nazmi talk back and forth in a conversation with the saxophone played by artist Bassem Raghoub in the duet track “It’s a long story.”

Nazim’s music has proved to have evolved in comparison to his past works.

Modern jazz blends smoothly with oriental melodies, one almost hear the Egyptian music strongly influencing the tone of music, I could even hear “The mawal” in his music. The music speaks to our minds before it does to our ears.

In his track “Ana Bahlam” – I’m dreaming – Accordion melodies are embraced by the progressive tunes. Exotic is how I describe this.

In the track “Ta’amol” – Meditate- one thinks the music is from Nazmi‘s keyboard. The sounds are not actually from a keyboard; they are generated by Nazmi on his bass for he had connected his bass to a volume pedal and a looper creating layers of synthesized sounds upon each other.

“Atared” Starts with funky groovy tunes that yet melts and weaves into an oriental mood and scales.

“Elly Sar” – What happened – The last track in the album is quite the master piece. Ragoub starts with a mesmerizing heart touching notes with his saxophone. The music sounded like a person bearing the depth of his soul, and opening up. Nazmi‘s bass gently becks to the desperate melodies of the saxophone. The moans and sighs of sax were met by the soothing advice of the bass. Elly Sar is a rearranged version of the track originally composed by Sayed Darwish, a well-known Egyptian artist. Featuring Sherine Abdo on vocals. Sherine‘s deep warm voice contrasts beautifully with the jazz music.

The album is very much like a storyteller, weaving in enchanting folklore tales through the music as each track is a story on its own. The Album’s title “Ethbat hala” is very much symbolic of how we built barriers and create our own limitations. It tells us to follow our hearts just like Nazmi did with his music.

Great artists are featured in this album, like drummers Mohamed Ra’fat, Ahmed Hesham, and Babak Madah; Mizo Gamal on djembe and percussion; Ayman Mabrouk playing the frame drum and req; and trumpeter Mohamed Sawwah.

The Album is quite a listening experience for all lovers of music.

Reviewed by: Riham Adly