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CD REVIEW: Hossam Ramzy – A Tribute To Samy El Bably
By Ben Ohmart - 03/20/2002 - 02:42 PM EST

Artist: Hossam Ramzy
Album: A Tribute To Samy El Bably
CD Review: Hossam Ramzy is probably the most famous percussionist Egypt has ever produced. He’s played with the Rolling Stones, Page and Plant, Sting and Peter Gabriel. But more importantly for World Music fans, he also has an intense musical love affair going with his dearly departed collaborator, trumpeter Samy El Bably.

‘One cold evening in 1981 in London, while listening to music by Ahmed Adaweya together with a close Egyptian friend, I heard a magnificent sound that mesmerized me, captured my imagination and set my creative emotions on edge.’ Hossam couldn’t believe it was a trumpet. ‘It sounded like a hauntingly deep nay bamboo flute mixed with a violin, in a uniquely fresh style I had never come across before.’ That was Samy blowing there.

Probably the best compliment a tribute album can have is that its subject plays on some of the tracks. Hossam goes a step further, having dug out a collection of 8 unreleased Samy cuts, which comprises the whole of this 50+ minute cd. The sound quality is perfect, and teems with all the varying rhythms you’d expect of a Ramzy recording.

Having toured with Samy extensively in the Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble, Hossam knows the music, and puts an energetic yet loving background to the crazy trilling trumpet that somehow keeps going and going.

A super and melodic collection of rather Latin-sounding beats that always puts the master in front of the picture.

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