From the Chicago Reader:
The versatile Vancouver guitarist Gordon Grdina returns to Chicago this week for a couple of concerts, and I suspect they’ll nicely encapsulate the range delivered on recordings he’s made over the last years, where a love and investment in Arabic music has leavened and expanded his already broad jazz chops. When I caught Grdina at the Hideout in September 2009, with drummer Kenton Loewen, sub bassist Kent Kessler, and trombonist Jeb Bishop, he was already absorbed in the Arabic sound, playing oud nearly as much as guitar. Last year Grdina released the impressive Her Eyes Illuminate (Songlines) with his ten-piece ensemble, Haram, convincingly demonstrating how he’d reconciled his free jazz vision with traditional Arabic music. After the jump you can check out the album’s opening track, “Raqs al Jamal.