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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa


By Eric Seyfarth
Published September 23, 2005

The Best Of Hossam Ramzy, Vol. II
ARC Music

Egyptian master drummer, cross-cultural globetrotter and session musician extraordinaire Hossam Ramzy follows his successful first best-of collection with these 10 tracks of pan-Arab percussion, swinging strings, meandering wind instruments and occasional vocals. After a brief stint as a jazz drummer in England, Ramzy remained in Europe but returned to his roots and the darabouka (Egyptian tabla) and was called on to play with bands looking for just the right Arabesque touch, starting with Led Zeppelin on “No Quarter” and moving to remarkably diverse ensembles, including Afro-Celt Sound System, Joan Armatrading, Marc Almond, Electric Light Orchestra, Debbie Harry, Peter Gabriel and Killing Joke. Over the last two decades Ramzy has established himself as a renowned instructor of Egyptian dance, while continuing to perform and record in his ongoing quest to turn Western audiences on to traditional Egyptian music. The CD cover says to “File under: Belly Dance,” but you could file this anywhere you can find it if you are looking for stunningly intricate and interwoven rhythms from the hands of Ramzy.