Putumayo Presents: Acoustic Arabia
1 Jamal Porto • Gamar Badawi 2 Les Orientales • Alger, Alger 3 Rasha • Azara Alhai 4 Charbel Rouhana and Hani Siblini • Mada 5 Tiris • Tiris Nibreeha 6 Souad Massi • Ghir Enta 7 Zaman • Batalti Eli 8 Mousta Largo • Les Larmes de Boabdil 9 Maurice El Medioni • Tu n'aurais jamais dû 10 Zein Al-Jundi • Wijjak Ma'ii
Release date: US/Canada: September 2, 2008 -- International: September 30, 2008 On previous collections, Putumayo has explored upbeat Arabic pop and dance music (Arabic Groove and North African Groove) and laid-back Arabic electronica (Sahara Lounge). With Acoustic Arabia, we turn our attention to the subtler, more organic music of the Arabic world which has been inspired by the region’s traditional music. With their stripped-down arrangements and softer, more introspective quality, the songs on Acoustic Arabia highlight the fundamental beauty of the music of the Arabic world. This collection features an intriguing roster of artists, including several international stars and exciting new discoveries. Each musician has a fascinating life story that brings added depth to their music. One of the best-known featured artists is Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi, whose contemplative songs address social and political issues and were banned by the conservative government. Maurice El Medioni, a world-renowned Jewish piano legend from Oran, Algeria first began performing alongside Arab musicians during the golden age of the Algerian music halls of the 1940s and 50s, and is still tickling the ivories as an octogenarian. The band Tiris hails from Western Sahara and is made up of refugees who have been part of the struggle to reclaim their homeland from Morocco which now controls the region. Les Orientales, fronted by three divas - Mouna Boutchebak, Saléha and Sylvie Aniorte-Paz, revisits Algerian music hall songs of the post-World War II era. For more than 20 years, musicians from all over the world have met in the RAS, a magical oasis in the Sinai desert by the Red Sea. Sudanese singer Jamal Porto’s “Gamar Badawi” was written and recorded at the RAS oasis. Zein Al-Jundi was born and raised in Damascus, Syria and moved to Austin, Texas where she performs, teaches belly-dance and owns a store selling Middle Eastern arts and crafts. She not only provided a song, “Wijjak Ma’ii,” but also wrote the album’s liner notes. The gentle emotion and entrancing melodies of the songs featured on Acoustic Arabia will help listeners deepen their appreciation for the rich music of this part of the world.