Thursday, August 23, 2012

CD Review: Various Artists' 'Orient Noir'

Various Artists
Orient Noir

This fourteen-track release represents the collective efforts of music curator and collector, Dr. Bertram Nickolay. The musical tapestry of the album traverses the Mediterranean, North African region, and the Middle East. Several notable artists are involved in this project, including Watcha Clan, Bi Kidude Baraka, Mahmoud Fadl, Susan Sandler, Ihsan Al-Mounzer, Maurice El-Medioni, The Klezmatics, Emil Zrihan, and others. The music is joyous, boisterous, and classical with touches of strings, percussion, and chaabi dance music and swirling melodies. There are also elements of gypsy, klezmer, jazz, and improvisation throughout. The mix of styles is not a negative, as each song is something different, but always engaging. Listen to the music of Serbia, Jerusalem, NY, Lebanon, Egypt, Zanzibar, France, and elsewhere. Vocals are in Arabic, French, Hebrew, Ladino, and Swahili. This is a great compilation from the Orient. ~ Matthew Forss 

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