Sunday, March 31, 2019

Andalusian Concert with Abderrahim Souiri

Here's a nice album from the late 1990s of Moroccan music from the Arab Andalusian tradition (a.k.a. tarab andalusi, a.k.a. al-âla). This repertoire is understood to trace back in some form to the legendary 9th century musician Ziryab at the court of Cordoba. The tradition flourished in Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada, and Valencia, and was carried on in North African cities during and after the Reconquista.

The singer Abderrahim Souiri is one of the most renowned Moroccan singers currently working in this tradition. His buoyant presence and soaring voice have made him a national musical icon. He is featured often on Moroccan television (including commercials/adverts) and at festivals, performing not only the classical Andalusian repertoire, but also melhun, chaâbi, and amdah repertoires. The j-card lists the orchestra as that of maestro Mohamed Briouel, so this may be the famed Orchestre arabo-andalou de Fes. Both Souiri and Briouel worked under the late maestro Haj Abdelkrim Rais of Fes.

It's nice to hear Arab Andalusian music in a live performance setting, with audible audience reactions. Some of us non-Moroccans first encountered this music via studio recordings released by OCORA or Maison du cultures du monde / INEDIT. Those recordings, while historic and beautiful, didn't give a sense of the excitement this music can generate with an audience of aficionados. This concert recording gives a glimpse of the live tradition in performance.

Ournia has a bunch of Souiri's recordings streaming here. And Mohamed Briouel can be heard on many of the recordings in the CD series Anthologie Al-Âla, musique andaluci-marocaine

As is often the case with Arab Andalusian recordings, the songs on this album are identified by their melodic mode, and rhythmic cycle.

Andalusian Concert with the Artist Abderrahim Souiri (Volume 1)
سهرة اندلسية مع الفنان عبد الرحيم الصويري (الجزء الاول)
SACAV (ساكاڤ) cassette S104

1) Tawashi Al Istihlal تواشي الاستهلال
2) Insiraf Btaihi Rasd Eddil انصراف ابطايحي رصد الديل
3) Mawwal موال
4) Quddam Al Hijaz Al Kabir قدام الحجاز الكبير
5) Mawwal موال

Get it all HERE.