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Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

Chaabi has its roots in the Andalusian music of Moorish Spain, spreading to North Africa with exiled Jewish and Moorish communities; but it really took off in the music schools, parties and bars of occupied, post-WWII Algiers, where its Andalusian, Middle Eastern and North African lineage infused with the Mediterranean soundtrack of that era — chanson, jazz, snatches of tango and a little boogie-woogie. "Abdel Hadi Halo And The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers" was recorded on the tilting fifth floor of the Conservatoire d'Algiers, in a room overlooking the sea on one side, and the Casbah on the other: the orchestra was recorded 'live' in full flight — all together, in continuous takes. For our recording, the Orchestra included four singers — joined in chorus by the voices of the entire orchestra — and five-man banjo, percussion and violin sections. The scale and organization are thrilling; the music is swirling and improvisatory, surging from the haunted to the bluesy, the devotional to the knees-up.


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