Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Hamza El Din|
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop
Sudan's Hamza El Din is a master of the oud (a fretless forerunner of the lute), and the man who first introduced Americans to the instrument in the '60s. On this, his first album in three years, his playing is as wonderfu... more »
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Sudan's Hamza El Din is a master of the oud (a fretless forerunner of the lute), and the man who first introduced Americans to the instrument in the '60s. On this, his first album in three years, his playing is as wonderful and mesmerizing as ever--you can almost feel his fingers touching the strings. While some of the pieces are formal and classical in a Middle Eastern manner, on others he takes flight, using his virtuosity to travel through the whole gamut of emotions in a way that would leave most guitarists in the dust. It all ends on an odd note, however, with a piece that's lovely, but almost New Age in its sweeping melodicism, and which might just (finally) break El Din to a wider audience. --Chris Nickson
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(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've heard all of el Din's other albums (and bought many of them), and they're all good, but this one is special. He rarely records with other musicians, but for this CD he's assembled a group who are not only superb artists but friends. The result is an album that's much less austere than his solo works, while still showcasing his virtuosity on the oud and his great gifts as a percussionist, song writer, and singer. The CD is terrific all the way through, from the touching "Greetings" to the visionary final piece. I'm especially fond of "Griffin 2," a setting of a lovely Arabic poem. (The translation in the liner notes is great too, and I'm grateful to the publishers for providing it -- one of my few complaints about el Din's earlier albums is that oftentimes there's no explanation of the words he's singing, or even what the song is about.) And if you have any acquaintance with Nubian dancing, you won't be able to stay in your chair when the "clapping song" comes on! Of the 20 or so albums I've bought in the past year, this is among my top 2-3 favorites, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it for a long time."
A Wish come true
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 05/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I finally just bought this cd. Why did I wait so long? I've said it before and I'll say it again, Hamza has the best oud tone on the planet and this cd shows his tone to perfection. No one that I have heard so far has the richness and warmth and depth to their tone like Hamza has.I also have to comment on the female guest vocalist on track 1 (Greetings). Her name is Shizuru Ohtaka and if I could find words to describe the feeling and beauty that her voice displays I'd put those words here, but I can't. As far as I am concerned even if the rest of the cd was lackluster (which it isn't, not by a longshot), track one (because of Shizuru and Hamza's voices, and the rhythm of the song) would still make this a cd worth owning. As much as I love Hamza's other cd's, track one of A WISH may be his masterpiece.Hamza's sense of rhythm and beauty ignite my soul constantly. This is possibly my favorite of the Hamza cd's I own. Some artists have their big moment when they are younger and then they just sort of rust and fizzle out, Hamza is the exact opposite of those people, he seems to be getting better as time goes on. The liner notes say that Shizuru Ohtaka has a few cd's of her own. They are on my "things to buy" list now, she and this cd are incredible."
Painting a poem with music
a world traveler | The high Sierras, USA | 08/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We were returning in the minibus back to the "civilization" of a west African capitol after two weeks in the Sahara. The sun was golden as it set in the heat and the dust. As we passed women were coming in from the fields, camels and cattle walked by, small children played outside mud houses, and Hamza'a music was playing. All our chatter melted away as we sat spellbound by the way the the poetry of his music and the timelessness of the scene meshed.
Tracks 1 and 7 are the best. Track one is so beautiful in it sorrowful poetry. Track 7 is almost majestic, sweeping, a long sigh about change. This is soulful, delicate ethnic music. Highly recommended."