Sunday, March 8, 2009
Sami Rageb - Hyetti/Egyptian Music (Mer, 1978)
This is one of those records that could almost be from any era, as its simplicity and warm recording are timeless. Egytian bad-ass organist Sami Rageb is of course the star here, but with Jerusalem-born percussionist Jamil Summa backing (and Iraqi Arsham Zakarian on side 2) an unbelievably funky symbiosis is reached. Rageb's weedly farfisa-like tone and the amazingly-hot recorded drums are a dizzying and spiraling rhythm machine that transports one to far off lands, where they have their own devotional definition of what is danceable--yet this shit was recorded in the lily-white suburb of Northbrook, IL?! Well, that's where the label was based, and the blurb on the back reveals Rageb moved to the Midwest in 1974. This strikes me as so very odd, as it seems Rageb had a prolific career back in his native Egypt. He started in 1960 playing the Maxim Hotel in Cairo, and formed his own band "The Knights" in 1965, which toured all of Upper and Lower Egypt backing local movie stars--and by 1972 he was playing as far away as Paris.
In any case, be grateful for this well-worn LP to exist, as it has gotten some asses moving at various DJ gigs over the years--side 2's medley is perfect for extended moves......
5. Middle Eastern Medley Dance Routine