A Sign of Thyme

A Sign of Thyme1

while Jafra may seem obscure when you walk down the streets of downtown, it’s definitely very much colorful and alive. the stained mixed-tile floor creates an awakening sensation when it collides with the walls of this place along with the wooden bamboo chairs and tables. struck by a pleasant bustle and hustle of voices that just smell of a social and friendly crowd, i knew this was a place to go to on a regular basis. with a very fairly priced menu ;short, but none the less good. Jafra offers it’s crowd more than just beverages, foods and argheelas, for Jafra has been playing a vital role in exposing the jordanian public to upcoming bands that provide added value to the musical industry and has proved to be one of the few cultural nexuses in jordan. not only that, but it also accommodates an overwhelming diverse crowd that ranges from the teen to the middle aged man and gives them a place to share what they all have in common, culture.

i went to Jafra at 6:30 to guarantee a good spot to watch SOT’s performance and i was lucky enough to be granted a table that’s right in front of the band regardless of the fact that i was planning on being there alone. a while after i sat down, a fellow blogger “Lina Ejeilat” showed up and joined me. we started chatting about the band and how they really do have something genuine to offer. these guys have showed me an incredible time.

Yaqoub’s 6-string bass guitar, Ahmad’s Ood, and Nasser Salameh’s wide range of percussion instruments were played in perfect harmony regardless of some technical issues that they had with the sound equipment. SOT played pieces by a wide range of composers, starting with Itr Al Ghajar and ending with Aziza that was played twice due to popular demand. Yaqoub is a person whom i’ve seen play in other places and respected as a musician, but when i heard him play last night he skipped a few scales and moved much higher up in status. Ahmad, the passionate and truthful ood player really had an incredible effect on most of the songs where he took us to a familiar place where memories are formed and thoughts are alive. as for Nasser, he’s beyond any comment i could possible grant. his precision and feeling for the music was unmatched by anyone i’ve seen. a true musician, he not only added a very distinct flavor to the music, but he also generate the mood for the musical pieces. and for the first time in jordan, i actually see someone using a Cajon! see picture below
Nasser - Cajon
for those who do not know what a cajon is, click here Cajun . a truly unique instrument that generates a sensation unlike any other because the sound it resonates is something that truly clicked in my head.

all in all, SOT’s performance was one of the best i’ve seen in jordan. i was truly impressed by the level of their music and how they performed live! excellent music, excellent skill and unmatched performance. A Sign Of Thyme is definitely going somewhere really big in jordan and the world if they keep this level up. i will follow this band where ever they decide to perform in jordan because they are a band worth listening to. if you weren’t there yesterday at Jafra, then you missed the time of your life. and if you hear about them performing, make sure you go there as they will totally jazz up your mood.

Photography and Words by Mazen Al-Ali. All Rights Reserved.


~ by Mazz on 14 March, 2007.

9 Responses to “A Sign of Thyme”

  1. yea the thing rocked! the last piece was awesome 🙂

  2. Well, SOT is a very good band, but my problem comes with jafra, dayman betka7tato, they should bring a good sound system, but everytime, they do the same mistake, and rent the cheapest available, which would give the band a very hard time.

  3. Adel, yep! it was!

    Alaa: yeah, the sound system sucks. but i was lucky enough to be sitting right in front of the band!

  4. Thank you mazz for the favourable review, its really nice of you! about the sound system, the system we had was not bad, i got it myself not the Jafra people, but the problem was with the extremely tricky acoustics of the place with it’s high ceiling and strange reverb effect, i think that despite the problems we had the sound was generally decent in comparison with other performances that took place at Jafra before…

  5. […] story. Meanwhile, Local band Sign Of Thyme played at Jafra cafe recently and Mazen Al-Ali has an excellent review of their […]

  6. thanks for the review. It seems that i missed alot!

  7. Yacoub : no worries about the sound system! like i said i was infront of you guys and i’m not really complaining! you guys have something special to offer the jordanian music community and that’s something that i personally appreciate.

    Gloabl Voices : thanks for pinging me back! it’s a good review of the Jordanian blogsphere!

    Lubna: you sure did miss it! it was a blast! the guys played perfectly well with each other! Sign of Thyme is definitely a band you should hunt down in jordan and attend every singe performance.

  8. Thank You

  9. umm! anytime alex! but for what?

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