Gilded Serpent presents...

Heartbeat of the Dance

Review of 4+ Drum Solo CDs

by Amina Goodyear
posted July 12, 2009

Below are reviews of 4 CDs. All the drummers are extremely talented but each has a different style. Drum Attack is an American CD by Lebanese American, Tony Chamoun, and it caters to an American audience. Sabla Tolo and Sabla Tolo II are CDs by Hossam Ramzy who has been living outside of his country, Egypt, for a long time and has developed a western sensibility and knows how westerners like to count and analyze. Pulse of the Sphinx by the Henkesh Brothers is just plain Egyptian. Like the river Nile the drumming goes this way and that but it is constant and continuous. – always familiar, yet full of surprises. Here is an excerpt from each review by Amina.

Click on linked title to read each full review.

Sabla Tolo 1 & 2
Drum attack

Sabla Tolo I & II by Hossam Ramzy; Journeys in Pure Egyptian Percussion
Hossam Ramzy came to San Francisco in the early 1990’s and it was a great treat to finally meet the percussionist who had created such a stir in the San Francisco dance scene with his music and percussion cassettes (my favorite was RoHe which still has one of my favorite taqsim beledies). All his cassettes were fun and danceable and his percussion cassette was also informative with spoken explanations of the rhythms preceding each rhythm. In a way he was a pioneer in the producing of drum rhythm albums that were useable for instruction and for dance or drum practice. …more

Zil rating
3 for Hossam’s Sabla Tolo 1,
3 zil rating
3.5 for Hossam’s Sabla Tolo 2,
3.5 zil rating

Drum Attack Belly Dance Drum Solos by Tony Chamoun

This CD has 10 tracks and each track is named after a dancer.  I recognize some but not all the names and believe that these drum solos are mostly named after prominent East Coast dancers. The CD is very well mixed and recorded and all the individual percussion instruments either jump out or hold their own as background in the manner that the drummer saw fit. … more

Zil rating
2.5 for Tony’s whole Drum Attack CD
2.5 zil rating

3.5 for the 2 drum solos in the 2nd CD called Nourhan Sharif in Raqs Sharqi
3.5 zil rating


Pulse of the Sphinx, Drum Solos by the Masters Volume 1: The Henkesh Brothers
Khamis Henkesh was the first drummer of the Henkesh Brothers to be well known in America. Through dance and musician friends we heard that he was considered to be one of the top drummers in Egypt. But it was mostly through his records and later cassettes that came to us in the late 1970s and 1980s that we were able to know him and his drumming. Since stories of his drumming preceded his albums, it was a thrill to finally be able purchase and own some of his music. And great music it was and still is….more

Zil rating
3.75 for Henkesh’s Pulse of the Sphinx
3.75 zil rating

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