Jean-Marie Riachie’s Belaaks

Riachie’s latest, Belaaks (On the contrary), is a smart mélange of jazz, bossa nova, and oriental standards. Reminiscent of Ziad Rahbani’s Monodose and Wala kif, the record shapes a comfortable sound, blurring jazz, and bossa nova, as Arabic lyrics and instruments embrace uniquely French, Portuguese, and English contexts.

Highlights of the record are “Shefto Min Ib’id” (I saw him from afar), featuring the angelic Yara and “B’hibik” (I love you), featuring Lebanon’s fresh talent, Abir Ne’me.

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