1968 field recordings: one disc the Tajiks and Uzbeks in the north, derived musically from the Central Asian steppe; the other going south for more Pakistani and Indian stylings. Forty pages of notes and photos.
‘The best psych from his first two albums and many singles… full of fuzz guitar, electric sax and great percussion. His dark voice makes you shiver and you feel like dancing right away.’
A copper plate is balanced on the thumbs — the left hand fingers embellish the melody, played by the right (a bit like a Yemenite Bongo Joe). The songs are in the national tradition of courtly love.
Virtuosic oud-playing from northern Syria, aiming for the evocation of ‘spiritual states’, in-between and unresolved.
Iconic bellydance album recorded in Istanbul in the 1960s heyday of the Turkish nightclub scene — featuring dancer Ozel Turkbas and Turkish and Turkish-Gypsy legends like ney master Aka Gunduz Kutbay.
The shimmering, refined funk of Sankofa takes T’s Losun for its departure point; the Cairo side is a burning basement session in the Ra big-band tradition, heavy on the percussion and choca with fine solos.
A compilation of the early-seventies singles of this Turkish footballer turned lawyer turned singer: doleful folk and classical Anatolian melodies shot through and through with heavy wah-wah.
With Francois Couturier, piano; Jean Louis Matinier, accordion.
John Surman, bass clarinet and soprano saxophone; Dave Holland, double-bass.
Crafted, swinging, soulful Middle Eastern jazz, led by oud and bass clarinet. Dedicated to the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. (Why he didn’t win the Nobel Prize isn’t a mystery.)
From the early 1900s, New York’s 8th Avenue was a new home for many immigrant Armenian musicians. By 1950, dozens of nightclubs ran from 23rd to 42nd Streets. These are 1940s recordings, poignantly presented.
Further delvings into the ecstatic kitsch of 70s Tehran pop.
Early-sixties grooving out in the Arabic styles of the Middle East, Berberian’s oud leading a small group including clarinet, qanun and percussion.
Stunning. From 1910-14, brilliant suites (pesrev and saz semai) and breathtaking, elegiac improvisations (taksims) on tanbur and kemence. The most renowned composer of Ottoman instrumental art music.