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Album Review

An interesting fusion between Arabic music and flamenco. Though it's been done before (by Al Tall and Muluk el-Hwa), it's an enticing sort of fusion to listen to again. Some of the pieces are most straightforward flamenco with some additional Egyptian percussion, thanks to Hossam Ramzy. In other parts, it reverts to a straightforward Egyptian dance rhythm with some careful Spanish guitar in the background. It's when the two mesh that the sound is something worth hearing. Despite the relative obscurity of Rafa Tachuela (actually a German flamenco artist, hence the obscurity), the skill is certainly present to power the music forward. There is some able help from Said Kamal and Mohamed Naiem, providing the Egyptian sounds beyond Ramzy's percussion, and in the end, some help from the Sabri brothers (sons of Sabri Khan, not to be confused with the qawwal duo of the same name) in the addition of a touch of Indian music, as the artists attempt to explore the roots of flamenco through Egyptian music and the roots of Egyptian music through its Indian forebearers. Given that the rise of flamenco came after the Iberian peninsula had been taken over by the Moors, the links between North African music and flamenco are somewhat expected. When the two forms are brought back together to play in tandem, though, something more than the sum of its parts emerges. An excellent addition to the collection of any world music fusionist.

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...
Full Bio
Flamenco Arabe, Hossam Ramzy
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