On December 9th 2009, just after the release of his album “The Astounding Eyes of Rita“ (ECM), Anouar Brahem performed material from his new album at the legendary Salle Pleyel in Paris with Björn Meyer on bass, Klaus Gesing on clarinet and Khaled Yassine playing darbouka and bendir. In front of a packed hall and after several encores, the group received a long, standing ovation in tribute to the quartet's fabulous performance that evening. At a reception after the concert in the presence of ECM-founder and producer Manfred Eicher – whose label celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2009, with Anouar Brahem one of its most eminent artists – Brahem was made "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" by the French Minister for Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterrand, a decoration which officially recognizes the artistic reach of Anouar Brahem's music in France and throughout the world. "Pleyel, December 2009 (…)
The concert by the Tunisian musician Anouar Brahem has just ended to a standing ovation rarely heard in this legendary venue (…) Three encores, and a hall on its feet, delirious with such rare, very rare happiness."
Hugues Blondet, La pensée de Midi - Actes Sud
"(From our special correspondent in Paris)… On the main stage at Pleyel (…) the music of the Tunisian virtuoso heated the silence of a tenacious, almost groovy Oriental vein (…) 2000 spectators breathing sighs of pleasure… At Pleyel, Brahem scored a triumph."
Philippe Cornet, Le Vif - L'Express
"Albums as perfect as this appear rarely (…) this quartet recording beats anything I’ve heard from Anouar Brahem yet."
Phil Johnson, The Independent