Hamza El Din
“Music of Nubia”
1964 Vanguard Records (VMD164)
1. Fegir Nedan :: Call To Worship
2. Desse Barama :: Peace
3. Aiga Denos Ailanga :: Give Back My Heart
4. Hoi to Irkil Fagiu :: The Message Bearer
5. Kuto Fa Pattaroni :: Children’s Songs
6. Shahadag Og :: Believe!
7. Nabra :: Raw Gold
8. Nubala :: Nubiana
Hamze El Din – vocal and Oud.
Featuring Ahmed Abdul Malik on upright bass (track 4) and Sandy Bull on Percussion (track 8).
Long before the phrase “World Music” reread its neocolonial ugly head, there were a few record labels like Vanguard that were exposing the ears of the anglophone world to soundscapes beyond their borders. An early classic in this genre is this debut album by oud player Hamza El Din after his historic performances at the Newport Folk Festival. I had the pleasure of playing in a band with a guy who played oud.. Actually he played bass guitar for us, a fact which he found ironic, and if we’d had any sense we would have found a way to incorporate that ethereal instrument into our work. I have also had the pleasure of mixing and recording the instrument a few times (I can’t actually play a decent note on its fretless-lute neck..), and it is one of a handful of instruments that could play “happy birthday” and bring a tear to my eye and fill my heart with spiritual longing. Hamza El Din is quite possibly single-handedly responsible for introducing this sound to the twentieth-century Occident. But enough babble from me, it’s a Friday and I am taking the rest of the day off. Instead I will let Vanguard has supply you with their typically thoughtful and informative original liner notes for this one, below:
NOTE: It came to my attention that a scan of the tray inlay was left out of the original RAR files. You can find it HERE
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