Al Andalusia: Amina Alaoui

Amina Aloui

Amina Alaoui

What sort of music is this? It gets rave reviews in jazz journals and other high brow music publications.  But it is not like any jazz I’ve heard.  It is not classical either, though the way in which the ever-so earnest ECM label markets their music, you’d think it was the equivalent of Mozart or Brahms.


I don’t know what label to attach to this wonderful disc. Which is a good ting really because labels are thin and can be ripped off even by a ten year old. This music simply transcends. It rises above all labels and names and styles. It simply exists. There is no need to pin it down to any place or instance.  It just is.


The centerpoint around which this record revolves is the voice of Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui.  Born in Fez in 1964, Alaoui studied Andalusian music which has its roots in the Iberian peninsula and North Africa.  She has also studied western classical music and came to the attention of the wider world with another ECM record Siwan.


When I listen to this music my spirit soars in a similar way as when I listen to Kishori Amonkar and Lusine Zakarian. Floating is the only way I can describe the feeling. Perhaps free-falling but, without fear.


If you’re interested here is a review by All About Jazz.

Arco Iris

Track Listing:

01 Hado

02 Búscate en mí

03 Fado Al-Mu’tamid

04 Flor de nieve

05 Oh Andaluces

06 Ya laylo layl

07 Fado menor

08 Búscate en mí, var.

09 Moradía

10 Las Morillas de Jaén

11 Que faré

12 Arco Iris





4 thoughts on “Al Andalusia: Amina Alaoui

  1. Barron

    Very beautiful, and very interesting. The primary influence in the vocals is clearly fado, not flamenco or al andaluz. This will be a new favorite. Thanks, Nate!

  2. beetor

    Ooh, this really hit the spot! Beautifully soothing and transcendent – perfect for recovering from jet lag. To me it’s like Anouar Brahem, but better – ah, I’d not thought a thing were possible. Many thanks!


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