“Ages” away, falling a few weeks before the Brexitian day of shame: but this is a no-brainer. Guaranteed there will be nothing better on down the Dog and Duck or even The Case Is Altered, Eastcote’s finest pub, some say. Sadly even with the best will in the world The Case is Altered would not be able to squeeze everyone into the back room for Blue Maqams, who play the Barbican a few days this side of St Patrick’s Day come March. More’s the pity.
A must, “obviously”? Well, m’lud, Anouar Brahem is the best jazz oudist in the world. His deft timbral facility is unsurpassable. There you have it. But also cast your mind back to the brilliant Thimar, an album that also featured Dave Holland who returns to the Brahem universe and is at the heart of the Blue Maqams sound along with the Tunisian master. Subtract John Surman from that formula but add the tabasco of Django Bates and one of the best drummers in the world in Nasheet Waits in for the great Jack DeJohnette as the active ingredients and hey presto. Details.