A child progidy of Tunisia, a great master of ud, a vocalist and composer, Dhafer Youssef juxtaposes, in his last album Diwan of Beauty and Odd, the mystical and hypnotic ancient music of Sufism and the texture of present jazz. In an interview, he expressed his interest in Sufism as well as in the jazz of Coltrans and even that of Miles Davis when it is spiritual. What interests him in today’s mysticism is spirit, music, and not faith in itself. […] My improvisations and compositions are born from intuitions, without too much thinking, a kind of illumination.
Diwan of Beauty and Odd carries us away, evoking a flight, a transe. High perched vocalises are a fundamental component of Diwan of Beauty and Odd. That it should claim sensitivity to the art of Tajwid (psalmody of Quran) is also a strong indicator. He, himself, says that when [he was] little, his ‘rock stars’ were the Quran chanters Abd El Basset Abdessamad or Muhammed Omran[and that he] still today sees them as ‘jazzmen’.