Recommended by us on 21st May 2009.
The debut of Sir Richard Bishop and his Freak of Araby Ensemble,
a talented quartet of players getting deep into the Middle Eastern mystic.
· Sir Richard Bishop presents an album featuring hand
drums, percussion, bass, drums, electric guitars and a heavy
dose of Moroccan chanters, all of it captured with depth,
detail and sympathy for the eternal enigma by engineer Scott
· After recording a cover of ‘Ka’an Azzaman’, written by Elias
Rahbani, one of Lebanon’s finest songwriters, something
dawned on Sir Richard. Half-Lebanese by birth, he found
himself suddenly possessed to really dig into Middle Eastern
sounds. A pair of original melodies not fully developed at a
prior recording session had the Arabic inspiration, so these
were reattacked and finished in short order. Soon, Sir
Richard’s head was flooded with some of the classic sounds
spun for him by his grandfather back in his younger days, like
Farid Al-Atrache, Oum Kalthoum and Fairuz, along with
other personal favourites, such as the guitarists Omar
Khorshid and Mike Hegazi. In addition to the studio
improvisation ‘Taqasim for Omar’, the whole of ‘The Freak
Of Araby’ is dedicated to these inspiring players.
· In addition to his soul-stirring electric guitar playing, Sir
Richard grabbed a couple of Moroccan chanters and blew the
house down on ‘Blood-Stained Sands’, providing an epic
finish to this journey to the centre of one-half of the family
Taqasim For Omar * Enta Omri * Barbary * Solenzara *
The Pillars Of Baalbek * Kaddak El Mayass * Essaouira *
Ka’an Azzaman * Sidi Mansour * Blood-Stained Sands
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