Ahmed Abdul-Malik - Eastern Moods Of Ahmed Abdul Malik 
One of the most compelling albums ever recorded by Ahmed Abdul-Malik –
and that's saying a lot, since all of his albums are pretty darn great!
The set's got a style that's very strongly in keeping with the "eastern
moods" of the title – with less of a jazz sound than some of Abdul
Malik's other work for Prestige, and more spare, exotic instrumentation
overall. The group on the set is a trio – Ahmed on bass and oud, Bilal
Abdurrahman on alto, Korean reed flute, and percussion, and William
Henry Allen on bass and percussion. With that kind of lineup, you can
imagine the feel – lots of spare rhythms, with snaking reed work over
the top, done in a very evocative way – and although there's less jazz
than usual, the alto sax solos still give the record enough of a jazz
component to set it apart from straight world music. The album kicks off
with a surprisingly great, and incredibly haunting take on
"Summertime", then rolls into some really wonderful original tunes that
include "Ancient Scene", "Magrebi", and "Shoof Habebe".