Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut (1974) (2021 RSD Strut reissue)


Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC & mp3|  300 dpi scans | Jazz
2021 RSD Strut Records , Ltd. ed 3000 copies | Original release 1974

 

Original copies of this flabbergasting bit of rare groove jazz, released by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture,  change hands for thousands of dollars. It’s seen a couple of CD releases but was reissued as a double LP with extras by Strut Records for RSD 2021 with a later, single-LP version planned for the fall. But forget the scarcity factor: the music is jaw-dropping good, like Lalo Schifrin met Perez Prado and early Sun Ra for a jam at the Great Pyramids.  Ragab and Sun Ra actually recorded together once too.  I first heard Salah Ragab through a good friend who is a big Sun Ra aficionado; we had just recently met and bonded over the Ethiopiques series of albums, among other delights.  This is a different vibe, and a different part of Africa, but if you are fond of those releases then you owe it to yourself to give this a spin.  Another acquaintance heard my copy of this and thought it had a space-age “exotica” feel to it, which he did not mean in a pejorative way.  I dug what he meant but whereas “exotica” was typically a pastiche of “non-Western” textures that usually targeted the Western music consumer’s appetite for “primitivist” art , this is something else .  Cairo is a bit of a cultural crossroads, from what I gather (haven’t been, would love to visit…) and this breathtaking music is high modernism, it’s avant-garde and yet it also grooves.  This isn’t to say that it’s not aware of the “orientalist gaze” – the fact that the record was distributed by an official government agency bespeaks a certain self-consciousness.  This music is from a time when Africa was only recently emerging from colonial and neo-colonial subjugation.  And while the music might find better accompaniment in a strong cocktail than in the complete works of Franz Fanon, it is still musically revolutionary.  The fact that some of the most exciting music you’ll ever hear was being played by bands in hotels and rail stations could be seen, if you’re so inclined, as a symptom of  capitalism and colonial interventions; it could also be seen as an expression of a continent on the move and looking toward the future.  Maybe it’s both those things at once.

Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band ‎– Egypt Strut
Label:Strut ‎– STRUT263LPRSD
Format:2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue
Country:USA & Europe
Released:12 Jun 2021
Genre:Jazz, Folk, World, & Country

A1 Oriental Mood 4:45
A2 Dawn 8:04
A3 Mervat 4:17
B1 Ramadan In Space Time 4:20
B2 Kleopatra 5:04
B3 Neveen 7:54
C1 Egypt Strut 4:52

Bass – Esmat Abbas
Electric Guitar – Mohammad El-Tobgy
Piano – Alaa Mostafa
Woodwind [Mozmar] – Aly Abdel Mohsen, Aly Hassan, Hany Awad

C2 A Tribute To Sun Ra 3:22
C3 Khan Al-Kaleely 4:54
C4 Black Butterfly 4:04
D1 Latino In Cairo 3:55
D2 Upper Egypt “The King’s Valley” 5:46
D3 The Crossing 2:53
D4 Kleopatra (Alternate Take) 4:52

Soloist [Flute] – Mohammad El Barbary
Soloist [Oboe] – Ibrahim Galal*

.Record Company – !K7
Licensed To – K7 Music GmbH
Licensed From – Arab Republic Of Egypt – Ministry Of Culture
Recorded At – Radio of Cairo Recording Studios
Published By – Art Yard Music Publishing
Recorded At – Radio of Cairo Recording Studios
Mastered At – TechnologyWorks
Lacquer Cut At – The Carvery
Designed At – Studio Auto

Credits

Alto Saxophone – El Saied El Aydy, Farouk El Sayed
Artwork [Original Source Artwork Courtesy of] – Gerald Short
Baritone Saxophone – Abdel Hakim El Zamel
Bass – Moohy El Din Osman
Bass Trombone – Abdel Atey Farag
Bass Tuba – Mohammad Abdel Rahman
Bongos, Drum [Baza] – Sayed Ramadan
Composed By, Arranged By – Salah Ragab
Congas – Salah Ragab
Coordinator [Reissue] – Hugo Mendez
Cover, Design – Samir Gazoolie
Design [Reissue] – Matt Thame
Drums – Salah Ragab (tracks: B1), Sayed Sharkawy
Engineer – Zakaria Amer*
Executive-Producer [Executive Supervision] – Ibrahim Hussein*
Lacquer Cut By – Frank Merritt
Liner Notes [Original] – Bib Henein
Liner Notes [Reissue] – Francis Gooding
Mastered By – Peter Beckmann
Ney – Toto Abdel Hamid Abdel Ghaffar*
Oboe – Senosi Mohamed
Percussion – Bib Henein
Piano – Khmis El Khouly, Salah Ragab (tracks: A3, B3)
Reissue Producer – Peter Dennett
Reissue Producer, Coordinator [Reissue] – Quinton Scott
Tenor Saxophone – Fathy Abdel Salam
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Sayed Salama*
Trombone – El Sayeed Dahroug, Mahmoud Ayoub, Sadeek Basyouny
Trumpet – Ibrahim Wagdy*, Khalifa El Samman, Mohammed Abdou*
Trumpet, Flute, Flugelhorn – Zaky Osman

Notes
Recorded Jan, April & Sept 1972.

3000 copies: 1500 for the US and the rest for Europe and other territories.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks so much! I had a really treblely, hissy mp3 version of this, great to hear it properly!

  2. I dug this for sure. Thank you Dr. V!

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