Genre : World
Catalogue: ODRCD700
UPC: 859024006006
  1. 01 – Alik Belana
  2. 02 – Interlude
  3. 03 – Mazel Khatmi
  4. 04 – Koum Tara
  5. 05 – Ya Kalek Lechia
  6. 06 – Ya Taleb
  7. 07 – M’shet Lya
  8. 08 – Ya Ladra
  9. 09 – Tlou Mouni


Koum Tara is a meeting of four musical worlds centered around a common project, created and directed by pianist-composer Karim Maurice: traditional chaâbi music, classical string quartet, contemporary music, and jazz. The raw material was extracted from the traditional repertoire of Algerian singer Sid Ahmed Belksier.

These themes were worked, distorted, reharmonized and restructured to create a hybrid, cross-cultural style. As part of the writing process, these musicians brought their own identity and their specific know-how to each piece. This has been a cultural meeting of minds, resulting in a unique musical texture. Chaâbi’s traditional poetry and love songs are blended with the tradition of the Western string quartet, jazz improvisation and electronic music, creating a fusion of styles and genres within each piece.

At a time when humanity, respect for cultures, and tolerance are seen as much-needed values for building a better world, this performance offers a musical universe in which each person brings his or her identity, cultural heritage and originality to sing universal love.

Karim Maurice is a French pianist-composer-arranger. His Karim Maurice Project was named “Revelation 2008” at the Jazz Festival of Ramatuelle. In 2013 he won the SACEM Autoproduction Award, and was named Best Composer at the international “Made in New York Jazz Competition” in 2015.

Gaël Rassaert is the laureate of several chamber music competitions and enjoys an international career as a chamber musician. He is a regular guest of the Lyon National Orchestra, the Radio-France Orchestra and the Lyon National Opera. He is part of Portugal’s Darcos Ensemble, directed by composer Nuno Côrte-Real (heard on Odradek Records album ‘Mirror of the Soul’, ODRCD336). Today he devotes a large part of his activity to the artistic direction of the conductor-free La Camerata string ensemble, which he founded in March 2004. La Camerata has established itself as an important player in the musical landscape. Comprising 20 musicians from Lyon, La Camerata embraces repertoire ranging from Schoenberg, Bartók, Britten, and Shostakovich, to traditional music (Algeria, Argentina, Chile), jazz, and contemporary music.

Booklet in English and French.


“Koum Tara is an ambitious and eclectic international project by one of France’s leading jazz composers, Karim Maurice… sophisticated but accessible arrangements… rich in rhythm… The string players contribute a dramatic ambience throughout…”
BBC Music Magazine – Jon Lusk - November 2018

“… a dazzling confluence of sound… The currents that feed Koum Tara manage to retain their identities and also merge into something never heard before.”
World Listening Post - Atigay - July 2018

“In common with the most treasured recordings in one’s record collection, Koum Tara’s sound is at the same time superlatively modern and convincingly primitive… Piano like unexpected, refreshing summer rain. Driving percussion. Intense strings. Vocals guiding one through the human heart…”
World Music Central - Arthur Shuay - July 2018

“… ‘Koum Tara’ is an absolute gem of an album and an absolute must for those who still have to discover Algerian chaabi!”
Rebel Base - July 2018

“… this is a worthy fusion of styles that works precisely because there is an understanding of and empathy with each of the respective cultures, and these blend together extremely well. Odradek, incidentally, is a US independent world roots label, and if this offering is anything to go by, then it would be well worth looking out for future releases.”
UK Vibe - Tim Stenhouse - July 2018

“… stunningly beautiful chaabi jazz crossover album… all of these styles form a perfect musical puzzle, a wonderful metaphor for unity…”
Matti Poels - June 2018

“I’ve been loving every note of a wonderful new jazz/Algerian chaâbi fusion album called Koum Tara…”
Rhythm Planet - Tom Schnabel - June 2018

“An uncommon, wonderful North African blend that manages to be ancient and modern, simple and complex, exotic and familiar all at the same time.”
Songlines - April 2018

“This world fusion encompasses four musical worlds and sings the language of universal love.”
Nexus Magazine - Richard Giles - October 2018

01 – Alik Belana // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  1. 01 – Alik Belana // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  2. 02 – Interlude // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  3. 03 – Mazel Khatmi // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  4. 04 – Koum Tara // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  5. 05 – Ya Kalek Lechia // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  6. 06 – Ya Taleb // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  7. 07 – M’shet Lya // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  8. 08 – Ya Ladra // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS
  9. 09 – Tlou Mouni // Koum Tara - CHAÂBI, JAZZ AND STRINGS