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Shalabi, Sam / Norm Adams / Tim Crofts: Collateral (Bug Incision Records)

Produced for their Spring 2018 Canadian Tour, the trio of Montreal/Cairo-based oud and guitar player Sam Shalabi, and Halifax collaborators, cellist Norm Adams and pianist Tim Crofts (both part of the suddenlyLISTEN performance series) present a live concert at St. Matthew's United Church in Halifax, brilliantly merging Arabic, compositional & free approaches.

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product information:

Label: Bug Incision Records
Catalog ID: bim-80
Squidco Product Code: 29665

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Canada
Packaging: Plastic Sleeve
Recorded live at St. Matthew’s United Church, in Halifax, Canada, on November 1st, 2014, by Rod Sneddon.


Sam Shalabi-Oud, guitar

Norman Adams-cello

Tim Crofts-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Sam Shalabi is a central node in Montréal's free improv scene. One cannot count the many projects he is a part of. He is best known as a founding member of Shalabi Effect, who have recorded 2 albums on Alien8 Recordings which have earned the band extremely good response from critics and music enthusiasts alike. Apart from Shalabi Effect, he is also part of a number of bands, among which Detention, Molasses, Balai Mécanique, Po, 'Gypt Gore, and a trio with David Kristian and Alexandre St-Onge. He is also known for three solo albums, Luteness (Squint Fucker Press, deleted), On Haschisch (Alien8), and of course Osama, his investigation of arabophobia in a "post-9-11 world". His style ranges from freeform psychedelic rock to the most oddball abstract performance. Although mostly known as a guitarist, the highly versatile Shalabi also performs on oud and a variety of other instruments." (

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"Norman Adams is the Artistic Director of suddenlyLISTEN Music and an organizer, collaborator and arty adventurer! A student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, Bernard Greenhouse, and American new music pioneer Pauline Oliveros, Norman was Principal Cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia in Halifax, Canada from 1991 to 2017, and has been a soloist with SNS, and Les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montréal. He has been guest principal cellist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and has performed throughout Canada, the US, Europe, and the UK. His performances have also been heard across the country on CBC Radio. As an educator, Norman has been a faculty member at Acadia University, at Scotia Festival of Music, the Acadia Summer Strings Festival and has led creative workshops at String Fest at Memorial University of Newfoundland, CPA Allen High School, for the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers Association, and in schools around Nova Scotia.

Norman is well known as both a classical cellist specializing in contemporary music, and an improviser and electronic musician, playing free and creative music across North America and Europe, and at festivals from New York City to Prince George BC. Norman has collaborated with many leading artists including Joëlle Léandre, Gerry Hemingway, Eddie Prévost, Pauline Oliveros, Xavier Charles, Marilyn Crispell and Evan Parker. In recent years Norm has released several recordings of creative music: Arrythmia featuring hermitofthewoods on Montreal's Endemik Label, Collateral with Tim Crofts and Sam Shalabi, on Bug Incision; The Avens (with Allison Cameron and D'Arcy Gray) have released In Memoriam Robert Ashley/Improv #2 on Cabin Floor Esoterica

Since 2000 Norman has been the Artistic Director and Producer of Halifax's suddenlyLISTEN Music, an internationally recognized presenter of improvised music, and other performance projects featuring a broad range of local, Canadian and international artists. He is also dedicated to sharing music with all people, co-leading and curating suddenlyLISTEN's improvisation workshops for the past 11 seasons.

In 2010 Norman was awarded an Established Artist Award by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council, for his varied work.

Norman is dedicated to the arts community, and serves on the executive of the national board of The Canadian New Music Network. He is a former board member of Symphony Nova Scotia, Strategic Arts Management and The Lieutenant Governor's Masterworks Award and has served on juries for The Canada Council for the Arts and various Nova Scotian arts funding bodies and organizations. Norm has presented at several national new music conferences including the 2014 CNMN Forum in Calgary and the 2017 IICSI Conference in Regina. He has also served as judge at The Shean Strings Competition in Edmonton and the Nova Scotia Provincial Music Festival.

Norman makes his home in Halifax with SNS principal violist Susan Sayle, and their two sons. Sue and Norm spend their summers living and working at the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island. Norm's passion for music is equaled by his love for riding and racing bicycles, and if he's not playing the cello, or organizing a concert, he's probably out cycling on the roads and trails of Nova Scotia or the Island."

-Norman Adams Website (

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"Tim Crofts is a true 21st Century pianist. He performs a wide variety of music in concerts clubs and recordings. However, Tim's main focus remains improvisation & new music. His musical style combines elements of 20th century classical music with free jazz improvisation and world music aesthetics. In performance, Tim explores the full sonic capabilities of the acoustic piano through extended techniques and a wide range of piano preparations."

-Francoise Houle website (

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track listing:

1. Piece 1 48:52

2. Piece 2 7:19
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Something of an eastern-Canadian all-star trio, this group originally released this live recording on their spring 2018 Canadian tour. After their stop in Calgary, where they played a killer set for the Bug Incision Presents concert series at High Line Brewing, BI head honcho Chris Dadge offered to give a little more exposure to a recording that definitely deserves it.

Montreal/Cairo-based oud and guitar player Sam Shalabi should be no stranger to anyone reading this, thanks to his work with Land of Kush, the Shalabi Effect, and The Dwarfs of East Agouza (to name a few). He covers a lot of ground overall, but his offering here is his instantly recognizable brand of guitar mangling: a precise, tightly coiled style typified by his use of de-tuned strings and an arid, unfussy tone.

Norm Adams (cello) and Tim Crofts (piano) are major figures in the Halifax scene, and both prolific collaborators as well as holding down positions at a few key Nova Scotian institutions. Adams is the artistic director of suddenlyLISTEN, the centre of improvised and avant-garde music in Halifax, and has worked with many notable international improv heavyweights including Marilyn Crispell, Evan Parker, and Joelle Leandre.

Crofts not only co-directs suddenly LISTEN with Adams, but is also a faculty member at both Dalhousie University and the Halifax Jazz Festival's Creative Music Workshop. His previous playing partners include the likes of Fred Frith, Eddie Prevost, and Gerry Hemingway.

Between the three of them they possess a seemingly endless flow of ideas and an extremely high level of musicianship, occasionally creating moments that seem composed, but are indeed the product of their fierce commitment to the act of free improvising. Recommended."-Jonathan Ronler

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Stringed Instruments
Canadian Composition & Improvisation
New in Improvised Music
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