Rabab Meets Rock

Qais Essar – The Ghost You Love Most (Qaissar, 2018)

The Ghost You Love Most presents the music of Qais Essar, a talented Afghan multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Phoenix (USA). The Ghost You Love Most is Qais’ fourth album and brings together three great traditions, Afghan music, western classical and rock.

Qais main instrument is the ancient rabab lute. He orchestrates his musical compositions beautifully, incorporating cello, guitar, bass veena, harp, Indian slide guitar and a few additional instruments like the evocative kaval and organ.

The combination of rabab with drums and chamber music instruments has a feel that reminds me of some of the finest progressive rock bands that incorporated folk and classical music.

The lineup on the album includes Qais Essar on rabab, guitar and tanpura; Cenk Erodgan on fretless guitar, Thierry Amar on bass; Zach Tenorio – Miller on organ; Ray Belli on drums; Kamaljeet Alhuwalia on santoor; Sheela Bringi on harp; Rhitom Sarkar on Indian slide guitar; Justin Gray on bass veena; Eric Zang on kaval; Brian Wilson on cello; Christopher Votek on cello; Jason Wiedman on drums; and Dallas Huber on bass.

The Ghost You Love Most features cover artwork by Safwat Saleem. It is masterfully-orchestrated album by Qais Essar that takes the rabab into exciting new directions.

Buy the digital version of The Ghost You Love Most or the CD from qaisessar.com/album/the-ghost-you-love-most

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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