We had a small break in the pace of updates due to the elections held in October here in Brazil, therefore, it is likely that this month will be a bit slower than usual, but don’t worry, the average rate will be kept on our Facebook, as we’re trying to extend our sharing network in a more regular schedule, based on documentaries, live presentations, and rare film clips. Join us, leave a word and be welcomed to the ‘IM’!
Let’s go to our artist:
In terms of popularity and international recognition, the popular singers from Egypt and Lebanon respectively were those who had more success in spreading the Arab culture worldwide since the mid-50s. On the Egyptian side, Umm Kulthum (greatest female Arabic singer in history!), Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Farid al-Atrash and Abdel Halim Hafez, are the four greatest icons from the twentieth century.
The Lebanese side got plenty of female stars like Fairuz, Sabah, Majida El Roumi and lastly but not least, Samīra Ġusṭīn Karīmūna. Here we got its third entry!
The previous posts from her got its full biography, film clips and a little essay about Lebanon, amongst other details. Feel free to travel along with these entries and enjoy it!
Let’s go to our album:
A single from the (late?) 60’s with fine sound quality, in what might be the apex of Samira’s career, starring dozens of films, endless tours and multiples releases(Lp’s and singles) throughout the Arabic world. This fantastic single, one of my favorites from her, takes a plunge inside traditional folklore, a bit different from the 90’s last entry, where there’s no electric guitar or synths,but the usual Arabic band style with female/male chorus, strings, and tight percussion. Lastly, don’t forget to check its youtubechannel full of various performances at different times in her lasting career!
This Ep is an attempt to present some artists who will enter soon in our galaxy, today will address exclusively two countries: France and Japan. Great arrangers, actresses singers, side B, and even famous ones, (feel free to) leave us a comment and enjoy!
Brigitte Fontaine – Je Suis Inadaptée / Est… Folle, 1968 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)
June 24, 1939 / The diva of French underground music.
Brigitte Fontaine made a series of increasingly strange and eclectic art-pop in the ’70s that gathered a lot of acclaim in France, although she remains obscure to an international audience. Initially, she was an eccentric but accessible pop singer, presenting melodic and orchestrated material, working with (living legend) arranger Jean Claude Vannier; on subsequent records, she got jazzier, and then into avant-gardism and art song, her albums were commendably wide-ranging and erratic.
With an active career and 2013 last release, albums like Est…Folle, Barbara’sMadame, and even less known Jean Constantin’sLe Poulpe, are some of the wonderful panoramas that Vannier conducted throughout the ’70s.
A dreamy arrangement, with delicacy, strong pace and multiple colors!
She was considered as part of what is known as the French yé-yé generation heavily influenced by American music, particularly R&B, rock and roll and beat music, mostly known for her version of ‘Mamy Blue’with her very specific, bluesy voice, she certainly gained a special place in French pop music, with many radio and television appearances, where she had a number of hits in the ’60s and the ’70s.
Her material after the ’70s is somewhat dubious, with that sugar chanson feel, returning to top form from mid-’90s and recently launched Ici Et Ailleurs.
Honestly, these recordings with Zoo are certainly Nicoletta’s best moment, a passionate diva interpretation with an incredible escort by these guys, check it!
Ann Sorel – L’Amour à Plusieurs / Single, 1972 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)
Ann-Chantal Sorel, 71 years (more info ?). She released a few pairs of singles during the ’60s and ’70s, early on yé-yé and then, precious moments like this magistral one under Vannier’s tutelage. Banned (!) on radio, with a scandalous lyrics from Fréderic Botton, Ann’s sexy voice guides us through an unusual encounter.
Wrapped in a simple deep red cover, this is a fantastic erotica re-discover!
Chinatsu Nakayama (中山千夏) – 砂漠 (Desert) / Single, 1971
July 13, 1948 / Actress Singer
Former wonder actress, TV personality, singer and later established writer. She released a few singles during the ’70s and stopped its singer career in early ’00s, to fully devote herself as a writer, human rights, civil and feminist activist.
A B side soul-psych bomb with tons of brass, fuzz and nicely chorus!
Rumi Koyama (小山ルミ) – 恋人の記念日 / Sasurai No Guitar, 1971
August 11, 1952 / Actress Singer
Another famous actress and Tv star, Rumi released a bit more singles and albums through the ’70s. A swinging one, with western brass, percussion, mellow strings and that Tarantino’sKill Bill homage. Like Meiko Kaji tunes, expect some more entrances from Rumi Koyama, too, she sings with grace and got a real nice 1971 Lp!
Rabi Nakayama (中山ラビ) – 夢のドライブ (Drive of a Dream) / Hira Hira, 1974
The one (and only) who helped Yoshiko Sai in his first years, Rabi Nakayama is probably one of the most famous singers from Japan, the femaleBob Dylan often called, started its career in early ’70s with a dozen of releases, very active until 2009.
Here she catches a heavier side, with a furious backing band, this is almost a B side in Hira Hira’s album, totally folk-oriented. Even being unknownworldwide, Rabi’s career is pretty solid, with diverse moments and bands, soon she’ll enter here!
After threeMixtapes last year, I was already missing a new one, and you? Whenever we try to do it, we try to leave a distinct mark either in the choice of artists or the era approached, well, this time we’ll leave the extensive biographies and contexts aside, these artists should appear soon in our galaxy, along with their full contents.
So, let’s get right to it: our dámské and its songs.
Halina Frąckowiak & SBB – W Powszednie Dni / Geira (1977) / Polskie N. Muza
Kati Kovács & Juventus – Add Már Uram Az Esöt! / Single (1972) / Pepita
Kati Kovács & Locomotiv GT – Szólj Rám, Ha Hangosan Énekelek / Kovacs, Kati (1974) / Pepita
BornKovács Katalin, October 25, 1944, Verpelét, Hungary. Singer, Actress, Lyricist, Songwriter. Probably the most famous singer of Hungary, with dozens of recorded albums, awards, and presentations indoor/abroad, international recognition and a very active career until today. Hungarian musical critics have praised her raspy and strong voice, calling her ‘The Voice of Hungary’!
Born November 1, 1942, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Singer, Actress and TV Presenter. She was the most popular female pop singer in Czechoslovakia in the late ’60s. In 1967 she won Zlatý Slavík award (Golden Nightingale). Her song ‘Prayer for Marta’ became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. During the Prague Spring, she recorded over 200 (?!!) single records and one LP, Songy a Balady in 1969, which was immediately banned from stores. In 1970, the government falsely accused her of making pornographic photographs leading to a ban from performing in the country until 1989. (!)
aka Charlotte Sachert, December 14, 1947, Budapest, Hungary. Famous controversial Singer, Actress, Writer, already known from previous posts here in ‘IM’, check out our exclusive. Known as the Hungarian Janis Joplin!
We have an interesting study about the Rock development in the Eastern Bloc, from our homonyms friends which eventually will form the basis for other posts.
At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians were considered the upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor (!). Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended school, and most of them being boys. Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser led Egypt through a victorious revolution in 1952. He was a proponent of cultural nationalism as a means of political independence.
Land reform and distribution, the dramatic growth in university education, and government support to national industries greatly improved social mobility and flattened the social curve. From 1953-54 through 1965-66, overall public school enrolments more than doubled. Millions of previously poor Egyptians, through education and jobs in the public sector, joined the middle class.
Doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, journalists, constituted the bulk of the swelling middle class in Egypt under Nasser.
Famous realist director, Kamal Al Sheikhbecame known for making compelling thrillers such as House Number 13 (1952), a film noir about a psychologist who tries to use his friend to commit a murder; Life or Death (1955), which unusually for the 50’s was shot on location in Cairo, and The Last Night which was nominated for the Golden Palme at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964!
The ’50s and ’60s saw the appearance of accomplished realist films from Youssef Chahine, most notably The Blazing Sky (1954) nominated for the Grand Prix at the Cannes. It’s the second film, Son of the Nile (1951) showed an early work of Social Realism, that started his international fame. The film focused on relations between traditional classes and elites, depicting the hard lives of peasant classes. Previous representations of peasants had used them largely as romanticized symbols of national identity.
Let’s go to our album:
Born Salah Eldin Ahmed Ragab(25/07/1935 – 03/07/2008) in Cairo. A Major in the Egyptian Army through the ’60s, and an avid jazz fan and drummer, Ragab first attempted to form a jazz band in 1964, with American saxophonist Mac X. Spears. The group didn’t get very far, then, on December 1966, Ragab met Hartmut Geerken and Eduard Vizvari at a reception following a Randy Weston Sextet show. The three hit it off and decided to form the Cairo Jazz Band (القاهرة الفرقة موسيقى الجاز).
The year that he became the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department, in 1968, The Cairo Jazz Band began to take-off. They were Egypt’s first big band, mixing American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation with indigenous melodies/instruments, like the Nay (flute) and the Baza (ramadan drum).
Such musical cross-fertilization was not unusual in itself; American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef had long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, incorporating both the instruments and musical forms into their work. But Salah Ragab’s music presents a view from the other side of the musical equation of West meets the Middle East. Aligning himself with the compelling currents of American jazz music, to later be revered as the Godfather and pioneer of Egyptian jazz music!
Let’s go to the pinnacle of Egyptian instrumental music, beyond the barriers of jazz and folk, the refinement and creativity here is frightening! Enjoy this superb voyage, with luxuriant arrangements and also 5 (unmissable) bonus tracks present on the 2006 CD edition, without further ado the great master Salah Ragab.
The ‘IM’ highlights are Egypt Strut and The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt.