Le Trio Joubran is three Palestinian brothers—Samir, Wissam, Adnan—from the city of Nazareth who are all masters of the oud, the ancient stringed instrument, usually with a pear-shaped body, that is the ancestor of the guitar. The intertwining music of the three ouds evokes ancient spirits inherent in the traditional Palestinian poetry that inspired much of it. They play spare, meditative passages laden with spatial drama, seemingly emerging from deep rumination. But they also conjure up lightning runs that flit about like frenetic sparrows, haunting melodies, celebratory material still tinged with melancholy, and pieces with more contemporary band-like interaction, such as on the sinuously propulsive "Sama-Sounounou" from the group's latest album, Majâz (Randana). Although a strong traditional thread runs through their music, the Joubrans experiment freely via original compositions written for the unusual three-oud setup and lots of improvisation, giving an electrifying spontaneity to even quiet passages. The addition of percussionist Youssef Hbeish on Majâz (which means "metaphor") intensifies the subtle rhythmic dimensions. The album's only vocal piece is "Min Zamân," an old Nazareth folk song raked with sadness.
Sat., Feb. 23, 8 p.m., 2008