Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hassan Erraji: Awal Mara

Robin Denselow reviews Hassan Erraji's Awal Mara.
Described by his record company as "part oud-flailing Hendrix, part transmitter of ancient culture", Hassan Erraji is a blind Moroccan multi-instrumentalist who has studied north African folk styles and western classical violin and piano. He has relocated to Leeds and teamed up with producer Dave Creffield, best known for his work with the Kaiser Chiefs. The result is an upbeat crossover set that continues Erraji's fascination with fusing different styles while playing an extraordinary range of instruments. Rhythm is provided by Ben Stevens and Kenny Higgins, while Erraji sings and plays anything from the Arabic lute to the ney flute, qanun, violin, keyboards and hand drums.
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