Musicians of Nile - Charcoal Gypsies

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, July 27, 2013 Under
This disc documents masters of Egyptian spiritual music traditions. The Musicians of the Nile have been known worldwide for two decades. Liner notes go into detail on the group's history and three of the musicians. The music features mesmerizing trills coaxed from a bizarre horsehair- and coconut-stringed instrument by the "Jimi Hendrix of the East," Metqal Qenawi Metqal.
CHARCOAL GYPSIES is the latest release from Egyptian luminaries The Musicians of the Nile, a soaring, intoxicating, hypnotic effort incorporating wailing vocal ululations, dramatic percussion and the alternate trills and drones of the rabbabah. According to music magazine, Mojo, it's "One hundred years of Egyptian spirituality in one neat package", and we at Real World reckon it a natural progression on a discography that will knock your socks clean off.
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Originating from the Sudan, for four generations the Mataqil have cultivated alliances with Gypsy families specialized in the art of singing. Taking this tradition as its premise, CHARCOAL GYPSIES fuses the ancient and modern with startling savoir faire. The two-stringed rabbabah assaults the senses with ear-fluttering twills as the djallabiyah-dressed, handlebar-moustachioed trio - "Hendrix of the East": Metqal Qenawi Metqal, Shamandi Tewfiq Metqal and Yussef 'ali Bakash - sing of nomadic exploits and tales seemingly straight from the pages of A Thousand and One Nights.
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Frequently imitated and sometimes plagiarized, The Musicians of the Nile - lauded by the likes of Sun Ra and Keith Jarrett - have, for the last two decades, carried their majestic ancestral dream across the globe. The first "Arab music" group to win universal acclaim, Les Musiciens Du Nil (their original name, the other being for promotional convenience) have been seducing audiences since being discovered in 1975 by Alain Weber, a man who has acted as their manager ever since. Luxor to Isna
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Wooing the world with concerts comprising deep gusts of spontaneity interspersed with percussive flourishes, The Musicians - true to their origins - have wandered from Paris to New York, Berlin to Stockholm and London to Montreal. They made their presence felt at 1991's Gypsy Festival of Florence and 1995's Gypsy Festival of Lucerne, and they're proud to have been part of the original WOMAD in 1983 - a debut which led to collaboration with Peter Gabriel on his PASSION album.
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After albums such as MUSIC OF THE NILE VALLEY, Les Musiciens Du Nil, Real World Record's Passion Sources and From Luxor To Isna, Charcoal Gypsies continues to fuse the Saiyidi folk music tradition of the Upper Nile Valley with the force of Africa while sounding like just the sort of thing you'd hear during the wee hours of a quality rave.

1. Bitnadini Tani Lih (Why Are You Calling Me Again?)
Composed by Yunis Al-Hilali
2. Eb'at Djawaben (I Sent You a Letter, Why Haven't You Answered?)
Composed by Shamandi Tewfig
3. Suq Al-Manadil (The Handerchiefs Market)
Composed by Mohamed Magally
4. Mawwal-Doha/Rais Al-Bahr (The Captain of the Boat Is Led by the Curre)
5. Al-Ward Al-Foll (The Perfume of the Rose)
6. Ramla (Sand Dollar Mix)
7. Salamat (I Wish You Good Health)
8. Walla Zaman (It's Been So Long!)

Musicians Of The Nile: Metqal Qenawi Metqal, Shamandi Twefiq Metqal (vocals, rababah); Yussef 'Ali Bakash (vocals); Mohamed Murad Mejali (rababah, suffara, background vocals); Yunis Al-Hilali (rababah); Mustafa 'Abd Al'-Aziz (arghul); Qenawi Bakhit Qenawi, Ramadan Atta Muhammad (mizmar); Hanafi Mohamed 'Ali (tabla); Jadd Al-Rabb Mahmud (tabl baladi).

Additional personnel: Bunduq Khan Langa (vocals); Habib Khan Langa (safara); Salama Abdel Rahman (reqq); John Boswell (duf); Arach Khalatbari (daff).

Option (5-6/97, pp.117-118) - "...melodies that alternate between epic and sentimental, with an emphasis on elliptically metaphoric love songs....beautifully orchestrated--hypnotic, luscious, virtuosic....stands with the best in all the world."
The Beat (V.16 #2 1997, pp.70-71) - "...Of the many releases which the Musicians of the Nile have issued...CHARCOAL GYPSIES is the title most likely to induce its audience to crumple, smiling all the while."

MP3 192 Kbps including Front Cover

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