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Eclipse

5.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Eclipse
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Unique among Middle Eastern artists, El Din is a Nubian oud player and singer from the Sudan who studied his craft in Cairo, and fashioned the oud--normally used for accompaniment or in ensembles--into a solo instrument, combining Nubian and Arabic musical gestures. Eclipse--produced by Grateful Dead drummer and world-music champion Mickey Hart--exploits elastic rhythms and repetitive motifs in moody, majestic pieces like "Helalisa," the lovelorn song of an Egyptian field hand, and "Your Love Is Ever Young," inspired by Egypt's late queen of song, Um Kalthoum. Fans of Turkish oud masters (like the great Udi Hrant) will find El Din's penetrating tone and attack familiar, though his arrangements and vocal accompaniments are a different beast altogether, producing an evocative, melancholy music that draws on several traditions simultaneously. --James Rotondi

From the Label

Hamza El Din, pioneering oud master from Sudan, performs mesmerizing music based on traditional Arabic forms.

As the Moors swept across the northern stretches of the African continent, they left in their wake a rich legacy of music, myths, and legends. Performing brilliantly on the oud (the Arab precursor of the lute) and on the tar (the ancient single-skinned frame drum of the upper Nile), interwoven with his hypnotic voice, he has singlehandedly created a new music, essentially a Nubian/Arabic fusion in line with both traditions and informed by Western conservatory training. This album includes an original composition,"The Visitors," which he composed in Baghdad in 1965, in Iraqi Arabic with Egyptian melody and Sudanese pentatonic.

Other tracks feature his arrangements of traditional songs celebrating a first wedding ("Ollin Arageed"); sending a river-pulley worker's greetings to his beloved via a pelican ("Helalisa"); and paying tribute to the incomparable Egyptian songstress Um Kalthoum (1902-1975). "Mwashah" is a classical piece from the time of the Moors in Spain, traditionally used to train voices.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The World/Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009N3
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,445 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Hamza El Din is one of those amazing performers that you have been searching for your entire life. His vocal and musical abilities are sublime. At the same time, his music sounds both ancient and accessible. Hamza's music is meditational. The songs will gently paint pictures in your mind of the rolling Nubian desert scenery. Much is said of his musical abilities, but the rhythm is also a highlight as the doumbeks and handclaps add to the trance inducive sounds. His voice is very deep (like an Egyptian Johnny Cash) and his oud style expressive. Traditionally, the oud is an accompanying instrument and is almost never played by itself and usually does little or no improvisation. It is Hamza who can maintain the integrity of this music while being an innovator at the same time.

For those of you who know the Grateful Dead, you will know that the band worked with Hamza beginning with their trip to Egypt in 1978. Throughout the 70s and 90s, Hamza joined the band on stage many times -and for good reason. In the new millennium, Hamza still plays with Mickey Hart's Planet Drum.

Hamza has many great albums like "Songs of the Nile" (JVC, 1982) and "Lily of the Nile" (Water Lily Acoustics, 1990) but this is his best. While I've heard a few songs here played on other albums, there's something special about "Eclipse." The only explanation is producer Mickey Hart.

Did you know that the oud is the root instrument where the modern electric guitar comes from? Travel back to your roots, to the collective roots of humanity and listen to something that is both ancient and timeless.
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By A Customer on January 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Hamza's Eclipse is his best album. Only 5 tracks but each is a gem. Song #3 Olin Arageed is a Nubian wedding song played once in a person's lifetime as they exchange their vows. You can almost feel thousands of years of history as you listen to it. All of Hamza's albums are great - but sound similar to each other. If I were to buy just one, Eclipse is the way to go. Produced by Mickey Hart it sounds terrific and somewhat slick - but not overly so.
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By A Customer on July 4, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If you have been interested in Middle-Eastern/North African music but don't know where to start--open your world and buy this amazing CD from one of the masters of the oud! This is a very powerful recording. Close your eyes and experience the silky sounds of the oud, El Din's voice, and a wonderful track in which rhythmic hand clapping is taken to a new level.
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Format: Audio CD
After seeing PASSION OF THE DESERT (which I saw ten times I was so mesmerized) I immediately bought this album which is the background of the movie. The song I could hear forever was "Helalisa" which reminds me of the great movie. Hamza is one of the greatest Middle Eastern musicans ever--it's the simplicity of just the oud and his sultry voice.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nothing I can say about this CD will do it justice; it's superb. Simultaneously complex, clean, hypnotic, seductive, and reverant. El Din's voice and singing are impeccable and the instrumental work is brilliant.

If you enjoy this CD, then I highly recommend the work of Catherine Braslavsky and Joseph Rowe, particularly the CD "From Jerusalem to Cordoba". [...]
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having followed Hamza al Din ever since seeing him back in the 60s and then on his last tour, I can say that this is one of the best cds he recorded. The gentleness, loving sound of his voice just pulls you to him. I played this twice last night and can never get enough of the beauty of his rhythms, vocal timbre and you feel his presence in every piece.
Highly recommended
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Format: Audio CD
Discovered this via a Rykodisc compilation and was smitten. I don't understand the lyrics but it doesn't matter. The oud and his voice are a wonderful pairing. I love you, Hamza.
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