We talk to Egyptian jazz musician Maurice Louca on his new album, Elephantine
The French composer Claude Debussy once famously said "Music is the space between the notes." Decades later, jazz great Miles Davis echoed this sentiment by saying "It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play."
For Maurice Louca, a musician based in Cairo, the concept of the space between the notes–the absence of sound and how he plays with it–has been an integral part of his life and musical progression. Louca is releasing his latest work, Elephantine, on February first. He says it is his "most ambitious work yet." In it, Louca (who plays guitar and piano) leads a 12-piece ensemble through a swirling, hypnotic jumble of cosmic jazz that has a feeling of perpetual motion. Think Kamasi Washington if he had grown up listening to mesmerizing Yemeni chants and Egyptian shaabi pop.