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Earthbounds – Dreamers Inc  ThroDef
Earthbounds – Dreamers Inc ThroDef
14.00 €
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The Freak of Araby, Sir Richard Bishop
[Drag City 398]
20.00 €

Title The Freak of Araby
Sir Richard Bishop

Type
: CD
Label: Drag City
Code: 398
Release date: -

Bishop plays only the electric guitar here, and utilizes a small band on this set, a quartet with a bassist, a drummer, and a percussionist. There are five originals and six "covers" of standards from the Arab world, including "Enta Omri," by the great composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab. It should be noted that the way in which Bishop approaches the traditional and cover material is with a sense of reverence but not slavishness. He takes liberties and his sense of humor is on full display here. Check his reading of the traditional "Kaddak el Mayass," which blends the very traditional melody with surf guitar technique and sound. There's just enough of the latter to make it a modern reading, but the sense of mode, tonality, and phrasing of the vocal song is everywhere on display as well. The opening cut, "Taqasim for Omar," is a gorgeous solo guitar piece that uses modes and Eastern tonalities and cadences as well as Bishop's full-blown knowledge of the electric guitar as a "folk" instrument of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. One of the more startling things about this recording, which may irk some fans, is the lack of guitar solos here, and this is where the influence of the great Egyptian vocalist comes in: Bishop treats the majority of this material in a truly songlike manner, forgoing his own genuinely engaging and startling ability for pyrotechnics on the instrument in favor of re-creating the lyricism of the songs themselves. The sense of sung melodies is everywhere apparent, check the readings of the aforementioned "Enta Omri," Elias Rahbani's "Ka'an Azzaman," or the traditional "Sidi Mansour" (though there is a boatload of reverb utilized in the middle section of the latter that departs significantly). The lack of fiery guitar wizard machinations, at least the overt ones, might bother excitement junkies, but a second listen will yield plenty of them in Bishop's playing as well as his approach to the material and the open acknowledgement of his muses for this project. In sum, The Freak of Araby is simply wonderful.

Titles

 

1. Taqasim For Omar
2. Enta Omri
3. Barbary
4. Solenzara
5. The Pillars Of Baalbek
6. Kaddak El Mayass
7. Essaouira
8. Ka'an Azzaman
9. Sidi Mansour
10.Blood-Stained Sands

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