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Baligh Hamdi featuring Magid Khan – Indo Arabic Variations

The idea for this record occured when Baligh Hamdi, famous Egyptian composer, heard the excellent sitar player Magid Khan when Khan visited Cairo. Hamdi had been expanding the horizons of Egyptian music by incorporating organs, electric guitar and saxes since the late fifties and this proved to be a new challenge. The resulting album, with the orchestra of Abdelhalim Hafez with Khan on sitar and added tabla and Tamboura, is a very natural blend between arabic and Indian styles. Magid Khan is shredding it seriously on the sitar but the solo’s by the featured Egytpian musicians are equally great. Most tracks have a barer sound but I think the most intense track Gazairïa is the best. It’s structured around a known Hamdi melody, played and improvised on by different instruments with the sitar going from acid background drones to on point improvisation. Somewhere halfway a moog is ripping through shortly but just long enough to definately tip the track over into trip-land.

Listen to Gazairia

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