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It is seldom that a particular kind of music conjures the same image in the minds of all listeners. To the Western ear, the unfamiliar instrumentation and exotic melodic flavor of what is generally described as Arabic or Middle-Eastern music has one immediate association . . . The Belly Dancer. Indeed, the prime purpose of this is ancient musical form has always been to provide the mood and rhythm for dancing—but a distinctly unique and always fascinating kind of dancing. Belly Dancers have found enthusiastic favor and acclaim throughout the Western world and may have had an impact on our society second in effect to that of the Arabic numerical system.

The incredible swiftness with which modern dancing fads are born and die makes it even more awesome that belly dancing, whose origin is lost in antiquity, should at the same time be enjoying sustained popularity. There is food for thought in this phenomenon. It suggests that since belly dancing is a spectator sport, its appeal must be to men, as it frankly engages the lissome, physical control of the female form to transmit its message of alluring sexual fantasy. Yet women too are often captivated by the belly dancer?s art. The feminine mystique being what it is, she finds a vicarious stimulation in identifying with the performer and weighing her own sexuality against that projected by the dancer. It is perhaps the very basic, human character of the belly dancing art that has kept it vividly alive and largely unchanged for centuries.

Music whish inspires such a universally appealing art deserves a second look for its own sake. The modern expression represented in this album has had but slight variation since Scheherazade entertained the Sultan. Never was it better expressed than through the talents of the late, great Mohammed El-Bakkar. This album represents the last of this artist?s available, unreleased material.

It is difficult to describe this music in usual terms. It contains a ritualistic element through repetition, which helps create an atmosphere and hold interest. It is untamed and raw; sad or lively; eloquent and powerful. It transmits the human feelings of a whole people. Our reaction suggests that these feelings are essentially the same in all peoples.

1) Drum Improvisation

2) Improvisation

3) Eh Beyint Ay Ami
(My Days)

4) Lesh Hek
(Why the Question)

5) Farhat El Alb
(Happiness of the Heart)

6) Farhat

7) Elf Leila
( A Thousand Nights)

8) Im Il Jadaya Lil
( A Girls Name)

9) Shifta Delee

10) Hey Ha Ho

Contact El-Bakkar!


The Man Sightings