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 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
3 for Hossam’s Sabla Tolo 1,
3.5 for Hossam’s Sabla Tolo 2,
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
2.5 for Tony’s whole Drum Attack CD
3.5 for the 2 drum solos in the 2nd CD called Nourhan Sharif in Raqs Sharqi
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
3.75 for Henkesh’s Pulse of the Sphinx
Ready for more?
- 4-17-09 Two Dance CDS for Performance and Listening, "The Soul of Cairo" & "The Masters of Bellydance Music"
This family is dedicated to producing (and also finding) the latest and most popular bellydance music as well as reissuing classic albums in a remastered format with updated liner notes.
- 3-15-08 The Magic Sounds Studio of Cairo, 3 Albums reviewed and Compared
CDs- Oriental Fantasy #12- Talisman, Nesma:Del Nilo al Guadalquivir (From the Nile to the Guadalquivir),Nesma, Memories of Cairo. In a world where Egyptian dancers dance in the "less is more" tradition, the world of musicians seemed to be – more is better and lots more is best.
- 4-2-07 “In a Beirut Mood”: Jalilah’s Raks Sharki 6
I found the selections included make exciting listening. Each selection is a beautiful arrangement and a good mix. Best of all: each musical selection is useful and conducive for dance.
- 2-21-07 Veiled Visions: A Trip Down Memory Lane
The CD titled “Veiled Visions” is a re-release of music that was formerly produced on vinyl.
- 7-11-07 "Veiled Visions" How Belly Dance Music was First Brought to the United States
One time he told me about a blind accordion player who sat and made lots of jokes while they rehearsed, that musician turned out to be Ammar el Sharie.