Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mustapha Baqbou Upgrade (best ever gnawa tape!)


Here's an upgrade of my all-time favorite Gnawa tape! This is a great recording of Marrakech's Mustapha Baqbou, solo with a guinbi, singing and masterfully strumming a few songs, mainly from the Black repertoire (the Ouled al-Ghaba). Without qarqaba-s and choral responses, this is an intimate session where the guinbri is on display. And nobody rivals the virtuosic touch and subtlety that Mâalem Baqbou brings to the instrument. I estimate a late 80s or early 90s date to the recording.

Double big thanks to Mr. Tear: first for the original upload at the Snap, Crackle & Pop blog, and then for finding another copy of it and sending it to me! The sound is a little better on this copy than on his. However, it's about 8 minutes shorter - so I digitized this one and patched the remaining minutes from the other copy. I think it's an upgrade to the earlier upload, though that one is still available here if you want it.

Disco-Graphic notes: I used to have a copy of this years ago - the photo of Mâalem Baqbou was the same, but the background was different. I think my copy was on the widely-distributed Fassiphone label (out of Fez), as was Mr. Tear's copy. The j-card of this one, however, indicates that it was issued by the Marrakech label Sawt el-Haouz. My guess would be that it was originally recorded for the Marrakech label, then licensed to Fassiphone. But I could be wrong. Also, the cassette shell for this copy gives yet another production house: Disco Phone, way over in Oujda.

Also, the identities of Side A and Side B are not clear. Mr. Tear's copy (and I believe my old lost copy) began with Kubaily Mama/Mamaryo. However the j-card and this copy have Balini/Allah ya Rebbi ya Moulay as the first track. The latter order makes more sense from the running order of these songs during the lila. But I really got used to having Kubaily Mama at the beginning of the album, so I'm leading with that here. You are welcome to retag if you like :)

Sawt el Haouz presents صوت الحوز يقدم
Mustapha Baqbou مصطفى باقبو
Sawt el Haouz cassette S.H.57
(cassette shell reads Disco Phone)

1‫(‬ Kubaily Mama - Mamaryo ممريا
2‫(‬ Fulani فولان
3‫(‬ Balini - Allah ya Rebbi ya Moulay الله يا ربي يا مولاي
4‫(‬ Bouchama - Mekkawi بوشامة

Get it all HERE.

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