Rob Lightner | 06/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who saw and loved Latcho Drom will remember the scene featuring the Musicians of the Nile playing in Egypt, watched from above by a child. Though the music is familiar to devotees of Middle Eastern culture, the Musicians are heavily influenced by their traveling Gypsy ancestry. Traces of European and Asian Gypsy music are audible on the album, though the instrumentation is predominantly native to Egypt. Strings, reeds, and percussion form a synthetic whole that lifts the vocals high above, as suggested by the cover art."
The soul music of Egypt
P. Lozar | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My title isn't a completely off-the-wall comparison: the gypsies in Egypt are a minority underclass who have managed to support their identity (and maintain their zest for life) through song and dance. This album is captivating: the songs and instrumentals sound spontaneous, but the artists are consummate musicians who give a professional while still impassioned performance. As a student of Middle Eastern dance, I've become very impatient with the techno-pop sound of much contemporary Egyptian popular music; this group goes back to its folk roots without being self-consciously "folksy," and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable CD."
Gypsy Dance from the Heart of Egypt
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 01/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The other night I dug this CD out of my collection and played it on my computer, and I must say, I'm sad to admit that I had forgotten just how good this CD really is. The Musicians of the Nile, an ensemble of Mataqîl musicians from Upper Egypt, deliver powerful, raw Saidi music. This is authentic stuff, the real deal, and it brims with passion and emotion. The singing, ranging from poetic epics to folksy love songs, is masterfully accompanied by traditional instruments such as tablah, arghul and rebab. By far, my favorite songs are 'Suq al-Manadil', a lively instrumental piece highlighting the arghul, and the Nubian classic 'Salamat', which features strong vocals backed by powerful percussion. But every song on this CD is worth it, straight up the final one, 'Walla Zaman', which ends the CD on such a strong note.
As I said before, the music on this CD is real Egyptian music. More authentic than your likely to find elsewhere - even in Egypt itself, where the slick Arabic pop music of Amr Diab, Hakim and Sameera Said has largely taken over. Other listeners have rightly commented on the influences of Nubian and Rromani (Gypsy) influences, and they are indeed correct. So if you want real, lively Gypsy music, look no further. This is the sort of authentic ethnic music that will appeal to any music lover, even if you aren't familiar with Middle Eastern/North African music at all. And if your a bellydancer, or just into Raks Sharqi, this CD should have even more to offer. So do yourself a favor and check this CD out, it's well worth the purchase."