Hossam Ramzy and Samy El Bably; Cairo Nights (Arc/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

 |   |  <1 min read

Hossam Ramzy/Samy El Bably: Waheshny
Hossam Ramzy and Samy El Bably; Cairo Nights (Arc/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Elsewhere listeners know it is unwise to judge an album -- especially a world music album, and most particularly a bellydance album -- by its cover.

Beneath the bejewelled, bikini-top breasts on this unpromising looking album are the two key features: the names of Ramzy and El Bably.

Ramzy is a prolific writer (over 20 albums for the Arc label alone, most in equally unpromising covers!), percussion player and global citizen who has played not only traditional music from various regions of the Middle East but also Western jazz, and been a guest on albums by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Cheb Khaled, Rachid Taha, Peter Gabriel . . .

El Bably, who was recently killed in car crash in Egypt, was a legendary trumpeter whose sound is best described as woozy, heavy-lidded, sinuous and warm.

Together these two masters essay a mesmerising crossover between jazz, Egyptian bellydance, cool Parisian nightclub and hot Mediterranean cafe.

They fall foul of a little softness in the funk-lite of Kol El Aalam (although El Bably rises above the George Benson-styled acoustic guitar) and with a large ensemble (oud, accordion, zither and so on as well as sequencers and electric bass) they make music which will transport you somewhere -- if not make you want to get up and shake your belly.

And the closer is a 15-minute improvised tour-de-force. Stunning.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Arabic Cafe (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Arabic Cafe (Rough Guide/Southbound)

This catch-all compilation is thoroughly enjoyable if a little MOR but, especially for anyone who has traveled in the broad region covered, these pieces with their dramatic strings, pattering... > Read more

Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti: Rakshasa (slapthemoon)

Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti: Rakshasa (slapthemoon)

Elsewhere is always pleased to introduce interesting music from elsewhere . . . and this exceptional album is about as elsewhere as it gets. British classical guitarist Simon Thacker is one of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Destruction; Deluxe Edition

THE BARGAIN BUY: Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Destruction; Deluxe Edition

People say the most stupid of things about rock music – “The Stones are greatest rock'n'roll band in the world, maaan” – so let's join the herd by stating this... > Read more

FILM DIRECTOR KHYENTSE NORBU INTERVIEWED: The cup half full/half empty?

FILM DIRECTOR KHYENTSE NORBU INTERVIEWED: The cup half full/half empty?

There is a wry scene halfway through The Cup, the debut feature by Bhutanese film maker Khyentse Norbu. In a remote Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas, novice monks are obsessed with the... > Read more