Hamza El Din - Al Oud LP


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Label: Real Gone

Limited edition clear vinyl.

It's fair to say that what Ravi Shankar did for the sitar, Hamza El Din did for the oud (the short-necked Arabian lute): bringing a little-known instrument to the attention of the West and popularizing it. Indeed, he ended up playing oud with everybody from the Grateful Dead to the Kronos Quartet to his one-time roommate Sandy Bull. But El Din's gifts went beyond that of an oud virtuoso; he was also an accomplished singer and composer, and you will hear all of those talents on full display on this seminal album, released on Vanguard in 1965 soon after his star-making appearance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival that attracted the attention of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Meditative, mesmerizing, and haunting, Al Oud features nine original compositions based on Nubian folk traditions; at first it's the exotic sound of the oud that draws you in, but it's the rhythmic pulse of the music and the expressive quality of El Din's voice that keeps you riveted. Our first-ever American LP reissue of this classic record comes in a clear vinyl pressing limited to 900 copies, complete with original artwork featuring liner notes by Jamal Mohammed Ahmed, at the time Sudan's Ambassador to the United Nations. A richly rewarding listen.