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Album Review

Replacing Rafa el Tachuela with guitarist José Luis Montón, Hossam Ramzy is back for another round of fusion between Middle Eastern sounds and flamenco. Montón has some very nice runs on the guitar, but the Spanish influence here is more in the style of the arrangements than in flamenco guitar. Qanun, oud, and nay feature prominently, with the guitar abruptly entering from time to time for a solo. Where in the first Flamenco Arabe there was an exploration of the fusion of styles coming from two more or less independent aesthetics clashing together into one somewhere around Andalusia, here the aesthetic is more of a Middle Eastern one with a bit of a Spanish beat. The performers are all fine, but the mix isn't careful enough to produce the interesting features that one might hope for. This fusion concept is on fertile ground, but the execution has to be just right to make it work.

Biography

Born: Cairo, Egypt

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Egyptian native Hossam Ramzy is the leader and chief percussionist of Pharaoh's Egyptian Ensemble, best known to Western listeners as the backing group featured on Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's No Quarter tour and album. Ramzy began playing the darabouka (Egyptian tabla) at a young age, much to his father's dismay. He moved to Saudi Arabia as a teenager, learning his craft while supporting himself by playing trap drums for radio and television programs. In 1975, he moved to England to study jazz...
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Flamenco Arabe 2, Hossam Ramzy
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