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Ibrahim Maalouf|First Noel

First Noel

Ibrahim Maalouf

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As much as jazz musicians love to do it, the Christmas album exercise can quickly turn stale. Especially when you opt for a repertoire essentially composed of hits like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Oh Christmas Tree, Il est né le divin enfant, Petit Papa Noël, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow, Silent Night and Jingle Bells. But here, Ibrahim Maalouf has managed to create an impeccable record that gives his trumpet an even better showcase than usual. The starting point of the project is a set of very personal values. "It's an album of 25 great Christmas standards and 3 new songs that I wrote to celebrate both my son's very first Christmas and my grandmother Odette's very last one last year. My memories of Christmas are full of wonderful moments and I wanted to record the album in a way that would capture the magic of those moments.“

For this classical, touching effort, Maalouf brought in three friends: guitarist François Delporte, pianist Frank Woeste and choir director Sofi Jeannin, who has selected eight singers with angelic voices. The whole group met in two different recording locations: Armand Amar's Babel studios in Montreuil, where Ibrahim Maalouf worked on his first albums, and the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre church, the oldest church in Paris, a few metres from Notre-Dame, where his father was sacristan in the 1960s; it was also where the trumpeter got engaged and married...

Bolstered by all these strong symbols, First Noël moves forward with simplicity and humility, emphasising the melodies above all, without any kind of Hollywood arrangements. "After having recorded so many albums, I felt that the time had come to set down my version of these great Christmas classics, giving them a less childish, more musical dimension, and a more spiritual aspect as well: but at the same time preserving their necessary and subtle fragility as music for children, and as great classics known and sung worldwide.” The end result is a soothing, dreamlike, fraternal and universal journey. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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First Noel

Ibrahim Maalouf

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1
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
00:03:13

Ralph Blane, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

2
Mon beau sapin
00:03:16

Ernst Anschutz, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

3
Holly Jolly Christmas
00:03:03

JOHN MARKS, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

4
Il est né le divin enfant
00:03:12

Traditional, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

5
O Holy Night
00:02:40

Adolphe Adam, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

6
Petit Papa Noël
00:02:29

Henri Martinet, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

7
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
00:02:46

Jule Styne, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

8
The First Noel
00:02:30

Traditional, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

9
Ave Maria (Charles Gounod)
00:02:56

Charles Gounod, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

10
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
00:02:20

Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - John Frederik Coots, Composer - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

11
Winter Wonderland
00:01:41

Felix Bernard, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Richard B.smith, Composer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

12
Silent Night
00:01:40

Franz Xaver Gruber, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

13
Jingle Bells
00:02:16

James Lord Pierpont, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

14
It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas
00:02:32

Meredith Wilson, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

15
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
00:01:18

Charles Wesley, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

16
I'll Be Home for Christmas
00:02:52

Buck Ram, Composer - KIM GANNON, Composer - WALTER KENT, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

17
White Christmas
00:02:06

Irving Berlin, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

18
Ave Maria (Franz Schubert)
00:02:44

Franz Schubert, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

19
All I Want for Christmas Is You
00:02:25

Mariah Carey, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Walter N. Afanasieff, Composer - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

20
What a Wonderful World
00:03:03

George Weiss, Composer - Robert Thiele, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Stéphane Baudet, Arranger - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

21
Light a Candle in the Chapel
00:03:37

Ed G. Nelson, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer - Harry Please, Composer - Robert Dunke Leonard, Composer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

22
Adeste Fideles
00:01:47

Traditional, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

23
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
00:03:01

Traditional, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

24
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
00:02:00

Traditional, Composer - Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Arranger, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

25
Shubho Lhaw Qolo
00:02:28

Ibrahim Maalouf, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer - Syriac traditional, Composer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

26
Noel for Nael
00:02:33

Ibrahim Maalouf, Composer, Trumpet, MainArtist - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

27
Christmas 2009
00:02:26

Ibrahim Maalouf, Composer, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

28
The Last Christmas Eve
00:04:31

Ibrahim Maalouf, Composer, Arranger, Trumpet, MainArtist - Frank Woeste, Piano - Vincent Joinville, SoundEngineer - Sofi Jeannin, choirmaster - Clémence Vidal, Chorus - Oscar Ferran, SoundEngineer - François Delporte, Guitar - Martin Antiphon, MixingEngineer - Pierre Luzy, MasteringEngineer - Anne Laure Hulin, Chorus - Charlotte Bozzi, Chorus - Elisabeth Gilbert, Chorus - Marie-Cécile Hébert, Chorus - Rebecca Moeller, Chorus - Thaïs Raï-Westphal, Chorus - Valentine Jacquet, Chorus - Léopold Joly-Vuillemin, MixingEngineer

2021 MISTER IBÉ 2021 MISTER IBÉ

Album Description

As much as jazz musicians love to do it, the Christmas album exercise can quickly turn stale. Especially when you opt for a repertoire essentially composed of hits like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Oh Christmas Tree, Il est né le divin enfant, Petit Papa Noël, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow, Silent Night and Jingle Bells. But here, Ibrahim Maalouf has managed to create an impeccable record that gives his trumpet an even better showcase than usual. The starting point of the project is a set of very personal values. "It's an album of 25 great Christmas standards and 3 new songs that I wrote to celebrate both my son's very first Christmas and my grandmother Odette's very last one last year. My memories of Christmas are full of wonderful moments and I wanted to record the album in a way that would capture the magic of those moments.“

For this classical, touching effort, Maalouf brought in three friends: guitarist François Delporte, pianist Frank Woeste and choir director Sofi Jeannin, who has selected eight singers with angelic voices. The whole group met in two different recording locations: Armand Amar's Babel studios in Montreuil, where Ibrahim Maalouf worked on his first albums, and the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre church, the oldest church in Paris, a few metres from Notre-Dame, where his father was sacristan in the 1960s; it was also where the trumpeter got engaged and married...

Bolstered by all these strong symbols, First Noël moves forward with simplicity and humility, emphasising the melodies above all, without any kind of Hollywood arrangements. "After having recorded so many albums, I felt that the time had come to set down my version of these great Christmas classics, giving them a less childish, more musical dimension, and a more spiritual aspect as well: but at the same time preserving their necessary and subtle fragility as music for children, and as great classics known and sung worldwide.” The end result is a soothing, dreamlike, fraternal and universal journey. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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