Atlas Soul | Maktoub

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World: World Fusion Jazz: Jazz-Funk Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by Atlas Soul

"Atlas Soul's blend of jazz, funk and Middle-Eastern/Arabic grooves is a fascinating sonic stew that will catch any listener's ear. This is their second appearance on our CD's compilation. We like'em, and you will too". Global Rhythm Magazine
Genre: World: World Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Anaweyak
3:26 $0.99
2. L'amour En Banlieue
5:00 $0.99
3. Home
4:38 $0.99
4. Mahmouma
3:20 $0.99
5. Koumouyanass
4:18 $0.99
6. Maktoub
5:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Recorded and mixed by Graham Tobias at TMobile Productions
Produced by Jacques Pardo at Cosmos Music Productions
All songs by Jacques Pardo. Lyrics by Anwar Souini.
“L’amour en banlieue” French lyrics by Johann Sarton,
Arabic lyrics and vocals by Nadwa AlRifai.
Oud and Electric Bass by Walid Zairi

Jacques Pardo: guitar, tenor & soprano sax, lead vocals on “l’amour en banlieue”
Anwar Souini: lead vocals
Tim Paul Weiner: electric bass
Jon Simmons: trombone, guitar
Jason Kenyon: drums
Boujemaa Razgui: percussions, vocals
Lucas Lejeune: violin on “Home”

Atlas Soul is an award-winning band based in Boston performing original music that celebrates and bridge Afro-Mediterranean melodies & grooves with Jazz and Funk thus naturally creating new powerful genres of music one could describe as Maghrebien-Funk, Rock’n Raï and Shaabi-Jazz.

"Atlas Soul's blend of jazz, funk and Middle-Eastern/Arabic grooves is a fascinating sonic stew that will catch any listener's ear. This is their second appearance on our CD's compilation. We like'em, and you will too". Global Rhythm Magazine

Their powerful energetic & tight live performance is guaranty to move any audience and soon have every one sing along (often in a foreign language) up & dancing & sharing the positive energy!

They have played venues such as The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Festival International de Louisiane, The Houston International Festival, Musikfest, The FNX/Boston Phoenix Jazz Series at the Hatch Shell, The Festival International Nuits d’Afrique (Montreal) The Boston Globe Jazz Festival, The Steppin’Out Festival, MASS MoCA , Les Francofolies de Montreal, and many more…They have been booked on the same bill and shared the stage with international artists such as Lady Smith Black Mombazo, Thomas Mapfumo, Gigi, Alpha Blondy, Hassan Hakmoun, Baba Maal and Cheb Nasro to name just a few.

“What hits hardest about Atlas Soul’s sound is the natural funk of North African music and also powerful vocals, which span fluid, passionate Gnawa melodies and husky Raï hooks. There is great wisdom in a world-music outfit that embraces divergent genres (but not so many that the sound loses its identity)" writes world music journalist Banning Eyre.

Atlas Soul sings in French, Arabic, Hebrew and English. The lyrics speak of love, natural wonders, oppression, poverty, and of the melancholy of immigrants longing for their homelands. Their motto is world-music-for-world-peace.

They have won or placed 3 times the Independent Music Awards, the Billboard World Song, The Unisong International, Global Rhythm Magazine, Just Plain Folks Music Awards, Boston Music Awards and many more..

They are currently in the studio recording their 4th album.

Philosophically and politically, Atlas Soul hopes to inspire world peace through a fusion of music and culture that gets people to the dance floor.

For more information and review copies of their latest "Maktoub" CD, or to be on their mailing list please contact Jacques Pardo at 617 923 9957 or email him at



to write a review

Florence Jones

MAKTOUB cd review by Florence Jones, Shoal Bay, Australia
Atlas Soul, at whose heart is its sax player, Jacques Pardo, who also writes and arranges the music, has, as its ethos, World Music for World Peace. What can this mean? It can mean intention. If there is no hope or conviction that something is possible, then no steps can be taken along that path. It can mean the joy that comes from encouraging us towards hope and conviction. It can mean turning away from death towards life. You will sense all of this in the vibrancy, joy and passion of Atlas Soul’s 2008 CD release, Maktoub. And our capacity to sense all of this,
is a recognition based on our connectedness, as well as an actual or intuitive knowing of the music itself.

We have a history of reaching out to each other through our music. Think of that great traderoute, the Silk Road – what a conduit for the music of different cultures. Think of invasion and migration and the coming together, willingly or no, of different cultures and their music.
Think of the slaves brought from Africa to America – would our Western culture ever have had its blues, its jazz and, in due course, its swing, as early as it did?

All this is at the heart of Atlas Soul. The musicians come from or have lived in Morocco, France, Israel and have eventually joined their home-grown American counterparts. The lyrics are in English, North African Arabic (Maghrebi) and French.

Track 1: AnaWeyak: “Me and You”. What better title to begin this CD. The opening bars are a sax solo from Jacques and my jazz-trained ears thought that I was in for some great jazz. Wrong. I was in for some great Middle Eastern music, indeed, so attuned to that genre that I was immediately reminded of the singing of Hakim, ‘The Lion of Egypt’ as I listened to the vocal skills of Atlas Soul’s Anwar Souini who, when performing, is Anwar Maghreb.

Track 2: l’Amour en banlieue "love in the suburb": “this is such an old story … the yearning for love” The music is, once more, derived from the Maghreb – but just get Jacques’ hip-hop alternating with Nadwa Al Rifai’s Arabic. Here, too, Walid Zairi’s oud is clearly heard. Connections? You bet! There is no paradox in the lyrics being about the yearning for love, the lack of connection. We can all connect with that.

Track 3: Home, a song about homesickness and the sense of isolation that comes from being in a strange place. This time, a Raï & Jazz background to Anwar’s vocals. How about that for conections. We are also treated with a emotionally charged yiolin solo played by a French/American guest musician named Lucas Lejeune.

Track 4: Mahmouma: This time, Anwar Maghreb's vocals (“the world is a sad place, but let us get up and enjoy our time together") and are backed by a Reggae beat. One unexpectedly delightful moment after the other.

Track 5: Kouyoumanass. “Let’s get up!” Think Jamaica, New Orleans, North Africa, mainstream jazz. Take a large spoon. Stir. Add powerful 6/8 shaabi rhythm. See if you can resist getting up and dancing with whomever is nearby.

Track 6: Maktoub the title track, literally, “It is written”, destiny. Funky music from the group. Anwar’s vocals. Then, just over a minute into the music, and a wistful, yearning trombone from Jon Simmons, then back to the driving rhythms and then back comes the trombone, picking up the pulse. It’s a coming together. Which is what the CD is all about