Nuba and Sirocco CD

Excerpt from a CD REVIEW by HELENE

I am loving this new album of North African music. It celebrates the delightful partnership of my enduring favorites Sirocco and the Tunisian music and dance ensemble Nuba. Nuba's accomplished singer, oud player and percussionist is Moez M'Rabet. Born and raised in Tunisia, Moez studied at the National Conservatoire de Musique de Tunis. His wife Erin is known for her authentic representation of traditional dance form, and with Elizabeth and Aliza, the Zibee Sisters, they create the charming women's chorus on this album. They also make a dynamic dance trio.

The opening track is a rocking good rendition of the Egyptian song "Habib Ya Noor El Ayn." This includes another fun drum solo by Armando, affectionately known as Uncle Mafufo. His partner in Sirocco, Sulyman, adds an exhilarating Spanish flavor on guitar on several of the tracks. Sulyman also plays violin and ney and sings with Moez and the chorus. I especially liked "Sam'ra Ya Sam'ra," an exciting fusion of Arabic, Berber and Latin musical styles. There is one lovely Algerian song which Moez sings in French called "Solenzara," and the rest are Tunisian.

Other musicians creating the Nuba sound are Mott Jordan on bass and Eric Foster on zukra, clarinet and saxophone, and special guest Dror Sinai with percussion and vocals.
There is an interesting variety of dance-provoking rhythms and the music is a delight all the way to the final haunting love song "Taht El Yasmina Fil Lil."
For me this memorable album conjures up sweet dreams of happy days beside the blue Mediterranean Sea.