With carte blanche from the Montreal Festival, Anouar Brahem appeared on three consecutive nights with different groups connected to three of his great records released by the ECM label.
For the occasion, [Brahem] chose to reconstitute "Thimar", the rare, founding trio with saxophonist John Surman and bassist Dave Holland which he conceived in 1998 for the recording of his album "Thimar". He next appeared onstage with his other atypical, singular trio "Le Voyage de Sahar", accompanied by pianist François Couturier and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier… And finally with his brand-new project "The Astounding Eyes of Rita", accompanied by Klaus Gesing on clarinet and Björn Meyer on bass (percussionist Khaled Yassine being unable to rejoin the group in Montreal…)
The press was unanimous in its praise of the group and its music;
Montreal's largest-circulating daily paper le Devoir defined the appearance as "Music to excess… It was almost too much… It caused light to spring out, transmitting the echo of the immensity of silence… An immense beauty..." "There are special nights that mark every jazz festival, evenings when it all comes together for the listener to create something memorable… there was divine mystery at every turn… The next hour and a half was pure magic, as they played Brahem’s gorgeous, gentle music to perfection…
"The audience was as moved by the music as any crowd I’ve seen," commented The Gazette.
"The music of Anouar Brahem is a mirador of Africa, and this mirador offers a unique view of the world… Superb…" said Montreal daily La Presse.