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Belly Dance!: The Best of George Abdo and His Flames of Araby Orchestra

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Album Review

Kitsch? Well yes, it is. But apart from being a lot of fun, there's a lot to be learned from this CD. A compilation of what George Abdo and his men did, ostensibly for the belly dancing circuit, although more popular among immigrants from around the Mediterranean and Middle East, it's an object lesson in how a new land changes music. They adapted it to America, making it decidedly more loungy (just listen to Abdo's singing, strongly influenced by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Perry Como), and slowly removing the more ethnic elements, like those awkward quarter-tones in the melody, to achieve a synthesis that was, ultimately, completely American — ready for the new world, hearkening back over its shoulder at the old. The patina of tradition was there, but really, this was American music as much as jazz or rock & roll. And that's quite an achievement. Whether tracks like "Ya Gameel" or the terribly cheesy "Sahirrnee" are classics remains to be seen. But, on the evidence of this, Abdo really did do something — and how many places will you hear cocktail piano and Latin congas ready to wiggle behind a veil?

Customer Reviews

Great examples of "Old Style" belly dance music

First - if you are a modern, Egyptian style belly dancer you might consider passing on it - but that would be a mistake! Give it a listen. This is a collection of classics performed by a master. There are some wonderful versions of classical belly dance tunes and even if you never use any of these in a performance, they're just good to listen to, practice and use for class. There are some good selections of various types of rhythms - so you're not just always listening to 4/4, and darn it - the band is good. Give it a chance - who knows, it might just convince you to step outside the box and try something very different! My personal favorite is Dio Cardias - but I'm a Greek style dancer and that particular tune just speaks to me.


Rockin! Bellydance music, bordering on "groovy"!

Top Albums and Songs by George Abdo

Belly Dance!: The Best of George Abdo and His Flames of Araby Orchestra, George Abdo
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Asia, Arabic
  • Released: May 21, 2002

Customer Ratings