Best of George Abdo and His Flames of Araby Orchestra

Best of George Abdo and His Flames of Araby Orchestra

by George AbdoGeorge Abdo


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Kitsch? Well yes, it is. But apart from being a lot of fun, there's a lot to be learned from this CD. A compilation of what George Abdo and his men did, ostensibly for the belly dancing circuit, although more popular among immigrants from around the Mediterranean and Middle East, it's an object lesson in how a new land changes music. They adapted it to America, making it decidedly more loungy (just listen to Abdo's singing, strongly influenced by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Perry Como), and slowly removing the more ethnic elements, like those awkward quarter-tones in the melody, to achieve a synthesis that was, ultimately, completely American -- ready for the new world, hearkening back over its shoulder at the old. The patina of tradition was there, but really, this was American music as much as jazz or rock & roll. And that's quite an achievement. Whether tracks like "Ya Gameel" or the terribly cheesy "Sahirrnee" are classics remains to be seen. But, on the evidence of this, Abdo really did do something -- and how many places will you hear cocktail piano and Latin congas ready to wiggle behind a veil?

Product Details

Release Date: 05/21/2002
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074045824
catalogNumber: 40458

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Abdo   Primary Artist,Vocals
Arthur Chingris   Bongos,Cymbals,Darbouka,Trap Kit
John Haddad   Violin,Viola,Electric Violin
Mitchell Kaltsunas   Conga,Choir, Chorus,Darabeka,Claves
Mark Bichajian   Guitar
Tom Haddad   Darbouka
Bruce J. Jabbour   Choir, Chorus
Ken Kalajian   Bass Guitar
Peter Koury   Ud
Joseph Kouyoumjian   Ud
Stephen Kouyoumjian   Bongos,Darbouka,Lead
Edward Melikian   Ud
Linda-Jo (Shannah) Pettingell   Choir, Chorus
Margo Sayegh   Choir, Chorus
Ted Vartabed   Violin,Electric Violin
Martin Yaffee   Oboe
Annette Sayegh   Choir, Chorus
Amir   finger cymbals
Greg Hopkins   Trumpet
Za-Beth   Choir, Chorus
Manny Petro   Guitar
Chris Marashlian   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

George Abdo   Arranger

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