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Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band
...present Egyptian Jazz (Art Yard) LP

 This amazing collection of recordings by Egypt’s original big band is the first such record available outside Egypt. Formed in 1968 by multi-instrumentalist Salah Ragab, who was also the head of the Egytian Military Music Departments in Heliopolis, the Cairo Jazz Band mixed American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation with indigenous instruments, like the nay (bamboo flute) and the baza (ramadan drum), as well as musical styles and practices. Such musical cross-fertilization is not unusual in itself, since American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef have long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, but Salah Ragab’s music presents a topsy-turvied perspective from the other side of the musical equation of West meets Middle East. This vinyl-only reissue is published by the UK imprint Art Yard, who have hitherto exclusively released an outstanding series of Sun Ra recordings. Not surprisingly, then, there is much here to appeal to Sun Ra aficionados, but with songs like the mysterious, cocksure “Egyptian Strut” and blow-outs like “Ramadan in Space Time” and “Neveen,” this record more than stands on its own. Fantastic, highly enjoyable music.

 

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Comments

Dear friends in music I am trying to contact my old friend salah ragab in Heliopolis. Can you help me with an e-mail address?? Thank you in advance Peter Giger, Minusio, Switzerland