Friday, December 27, 2013

Cover Cheikhs

A holiday gift from the invaluable blog Jewish Morocco, this take on three covers from Algerian singers.

1. Mahieddine Bentir (who I blogged about previously, in a post kindly cited by Jewish Morocco), does a cover of "Le marchand de bonheur" (done here by André Roc), called "Anaya Bouhali."

2. Lili Boniche does a cover of Charles Aznavour's "La Mama," called "Ya Yemma." (Jewish Morocco is of the opinion that Boniche's cover is more powerful than the original. You decide. By the way, Aznavour was born Shahnour Varenagh Aznavourian, to Armenian immigrants to France.)

3. Salim Halali does a cover of Yossele Rosenblatt's "Ma Yiddishe Mama." Hilali keeps the same title but does the song in Arabic. It's amazing. Jewish Morocco thinks it's the only Yiddish song translated into Arabic.

The post also mentions that Lili Boniche, like his Jewish-Algerian compatriot Luc Cherki, even recorded a disco EP. Check out Cherki's "Discoriental" here. I wish Jewish Morocco would provide the title of that Boniche-gone-disco track.

And I really really wish that someone will turn up the Mahieddine Bachetarzi cover of Josephine Baker’s "J’ai deux amours" that Jewish Morocco mentions. ("J'ai deux amours/Mon pays et Paris.")

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