Oriental Music


2023 repress. Wewantsounds present the first vinyl reissue of Ammar El Sherei's superb instrumental album Oriental Music from 1976. Here, the iconic Egyptian musician and composer revisits six classic compositions by another Egyptian legend, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, in his own hypnotic way. Curated by Lebanese-born Arabic music expert Mario Choueiry from Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The late musician and composer Ammar El Sherei was one of Egypt's musical giants. Born in Upper Egypt in 1948 into an upper middle class family (his paternal grandfather had been an MP during King Fouad's reign and his eldest brother became the Egyptian ambassador to Australia) El Sherei moved to Cairo with his family when he was five and attended a special school for the blind (he had lost his eyesight in his early childhood). A child prodigy with a unique gift for music, he got noticed by his teachers who recommended him to the Hadley School for the Blind in America so he could perfect his studies by correspondence. El Sherei quickly learned piano, oud, and composition with unparalleled ease. He began playing accordion in the Cairo bars and clubs and started making a name for himself on the Cairo scene. El Sherei got his first taste of success when he managed to place a song with famed Egyptian singer, Maha Sabry. Following, his ascension was meteoric and he went to become a very successful composer for films and TV series especially. A true innovator who didn't hesitate to bring some western influences to traditional Egyptian music and was one of the musicians responsible for ending the lengthy song trend of the '70s. He embraced modern instrumentations and was asked by Japanese keyboard maker Yamaha Corp. to help develop new electronic keyboards that could handle quarter tone. Early in his career El Sherei recorded albums for Soutelphan, including Oriental Music celebrating the music of another Egyptian legend, composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who had co-founded Soutelphan. Here he masterfully interprets six classics from the master including "Ana Wehabieby" (aka Ana Wa Habibi), "Ya Wabour Koly", and the classic "Ahwak" made famous by such talents as Abdel Halim Hafez or Fairuz. Using early electronic keyboards like the Steelphon S900 or the Farfisa as seen on the album cover, El Sherei creates beautifully hypnotic instrumentals that blend together traditional melodies with modern instrumentation, adding jazz and pop elements in the mix. Newly remastered. Comes in original artwork.