Sunday, July 3, 2011

M'allem Ali el Mansoum Vol. 2 - Old-school Marrakchi Gnawa

This is Volume 2 (I think) of one of the earliest Gnawa commercial cassettes with nationwide distribution in Morocco, dating from the 1980s. The artist is M'allem Ali el-Mansoum of Marrakech. Mr. Tear over at Snap, Crackle & Pop shared Volume 1 of this series a few weeks ago. My offering is what I believe to be Volume 2 - I think there are only 2 volumes, and this would be the second. I've lost the original j-card to this, if in fact I ever had it.  (The scan is from Volume 1, with the "1" edited out.)

The Gnawa repertoire has its origins in the unwritten past, and it tends to be conservative - new songs are not often added to the repertoire. (An exception is the introduction of the Hamdushiya suite sometime in the last 40 years.)  Changes inevitably occur, though. There's a different "swing" to Mansoum's 6/8 (and the 6/8 I've heard on other recordings of older Marrakchi players) than what one generally hears in Marrakech these days. And Mansoum's singing style was distinctive (whether due to personal style or generational differences) and was recalled fondly among younger Gnawa in Marrakech.
  1. L'Afu Rijal Allah
  2. Hammadi
  3. Sallaw 'Alik ya Rasul Allah
  4. Jilali Dawi Hali - Mulay Abdelqader
  5. Marhaba - Lagnawi Baba Mimoun
  6. Sidi Musa Ba Kinba - Bala Ba Kinba - La ilaha illa Llah Musa
  7. Bori ya Bori - Baniya - Hammouda
Get it here.

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