Five skilled musicians from different backgrounds come together to create a free-flowing conversation between the worlds of jazz improvisation and harmony, music of the Maghreb, Gnawa rhythms, Arabic classical and Sufi music. Brussels-based Aleph Quintet was formed when violinist Marvin Burlas struck up a friendship with next-door neighbour Akram Ben Romdhane, Tunisian composer, violinist and oud player. The idea to expand upon their immediate musical empathy followed soon after and they invited pianist Wajdi Riahi, a well-known figure on the jazz scenes of Brussels and Tunis, bassist and composer Théo Zipper, and drummer Maxime Aznar. After exploratory sessions a bond was formed, now evinced in their tight-knit communication through complex structures and in the scintillating improvisation that arises from their intuitive interplay. This year Igloo Records released their highly acclaimed debut album, Shapes of Silence.