on October 9, 2011
The latest collaboration, "Rock The Tabla", by famed Egyptian percussionist, Hossam Ramzy is a musical odyssey in the truest sense. His fellow collaborators; Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Phil Thornton, A.R. Rahman, John Themis, Chaz Kkoshi, Jimmy Waldo, Billy Cobham and Manu Katche, along with Ossama El Hendy and a host of other supporting musicians succeed in creating a stunning and vibrant album which crosses continents!
Our favourites include: "Cairo to India", "Ancient Love Affairs", "This Could Lead to Dancing" and "Arabantana" with wild, pulsating rhythms found in the streets and bazaars of Asia, the Middle East, the Hellenic and Moorish West, from the Bosphorus to the Mediterranean - basically the countries of the Silk Route overland and oversea. Ramzy and friends lure us in with their heady and sensual compositions using instruments and musical traditions steeped in ancient history for a contemporary global audience.
Crank the music up to 10 and let yourself be moved by this feast for the senses!
on August 31, 2011
Having been a fan of Hossam's for some time, collecting many of his albums over the years and also generally being a fan of percussion and drumming I was excited and at the same time somewhat intrigued to hear about the release of Rock the Tabla. A part of me was unsure what to expect, especially considering that this new album seemed to be somewhat outside of Hossam's usual style of traditional egyptian percussion and dance music and more of a fusion of different genre's of music. He touched upon this with Flamenco Arabe but this was to be a whole different story. Listening to this album over and over I have come to realise what a genius Hossam really is. The Album takes you across the globe and into magnificent mixtures of rhythms and musical journeys. The track Arabantana with a "Once upon a time in Mexico" style opening is the perfect introduction to this album. it contains elements of Flamenco, Arabian and Greek music which are skillfully intertwined in a quite unique and complex but marvelous rhythm. You can tell the drumming is top quality and there is no surprise that Manu Katche was the one to bring in this groove. Cairo to India, the second track, has that genius A. R. Rahman element which one can recognise instantly. The title is spot on taking you from Cairo to India and back again. It's a great track, very energetic and uplifting. Possibly a favourite of mine is Six Teens featuring Billy Cobham who is simply a legend when it comes to drumming. This track brings you a completely different style - very jazzy with intricate rhythms and a melody which I have not been able to get out of my head since listening to it! Although Six Teens is my personal favourite I could go on about each track but to sum up I would say that Hossam's self proclaimed 10 year project and his diverse mixture of top notch artists and cross cultural elements has really impressed me. Well worth the wait and well worth the listen and the money. Definitely recommend this album. It's a blast.
Hossam Ramzy/Various Artists
"Rock The Tabla"
(Arc Music, 2011)
A drum lover's delight. Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy convenes yet another all-star world-beat extravaganza, with Indian composer A. R. Rahman, Japanese taiko master Joji Hirota and jazz drummer Billy Cobham among the many collaborators. Ramzy anchors the album with his wild, insistent, irresistible rhythms, matched on several tracks by Cobham's incisive, precise snare work (Cobham being no stranger to world music, as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s... ) The level of musicianship is quite high, and folks who appreciate pure musical chops will find plenty here to make their toes tap and their jaws drop. Some tracks have mellower, more subtle grooves, including highlights such as "Rock The Tabla" and "Ancient Love Affair." Definitely worth a spin. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To World Music)