Anouar Brahem is a very progressive musician, who has brought the traditional oud into the world of modern world. The Tunisian used the pear-shaped string instrument in all his innovative and trans-cultural projects and collaborations, as with the ambitious Thimar project, based on the album with the same title, dating from 1998. The North African brought together several musical worlds, with two British likeminded spirits, John Surman (saxophone/clarinet) and bassist Dave Holland. The trio produces improvisations that cross borders, without losing their own identity. Thimar is a melting pot of complex melodies and traditional structures, in which the love of music is the principal binding factor. The three artists regularly leave their own comfort zones in making this wonderfully melancholic mix of classical Arabic music and jazz. This has the best effect with both Anglo-Saxon musicians, because of their longstanding experience with improvisation.