Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Ziad al Rahbani's "Yellah Keshour Bara" and Sabreen's "Maz'ooj"

 I remember how blown away I was by Sabreen's album Maz'ooj, released in 2002. I particularly liked the songs which featured actor Mohammad Bakri's deep-bass spoken vocals (he is pictured on the bottom right on the album cover). And I also liked how the group incorporated, on a number of songs, a kind of hip-hop vibe. Listen, for instance, to the song "Wala‘" (Set Alight).

I had always thought that the album was so completely unique, that there was nothing like it.

And then I was listening again to Ziad al Rahbani's 1985 album Houdou Nisbi (which I picked up in Beirut in March), and noticed that Ziad's vocals on the song "Yellah Keshou Barra" are spoken as well, and Ziad's very clever, disco-ish, arrangement, as well as his deep, spoken vocals...remind me of Bakri on Maz'ooj. Listen to it here.

Could Ziad have been an influence on Sabreen when they recorded Maz'ooj?

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