Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

28 April 2013


North Africa has contributed much to popular music: Egyptian classical & el Gil; Algerian raï & Moroccan chaabi. The region of North Africa (with the exception of Egypt) is referred to as the Maghreb. For mostly political & religious reasons popular musick has seen its fair share of oppression. Yet music still thrives there despite frequent condemnation & suppression from the respective governments. Modern music blends with time honored traditional styles from groups like the Berbers, the Sephardic Jews, Tuaregs, & Nubians, retaining musical traditions with ancient roots.

 Hundreds of miles of sparkling white beaches along the blue Mediterranean laps only a few steps away & the rattle of palm fronds in the wind is the only sound. Then we enter the beautiful Gulf of Tunis at the port of Halq al Wadi. On to Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. The central part of Tunis is the century old medina, a dense agglomeration of alleys & covered passages, full of intense scents & colors. Beyond this district lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, & Sidi Bou Said. Exotic Tunisia. Just the thoughts of Tunisia brings forth music to the mind.

The colonialist French had deep roots in the North Africa region, particularly in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, & Tunisia. The French love of jazz firmly gripped many in Tunisia. Every jazz enthusiast is familiar with “Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie. Well, here is some jazz you might actually hear some night in Tunisia.

For more than forty years Fawzi Chekili has worked for the promotion of jazz in Tunisia. He plays mainly the guitar, but also the piano & the ùd.

The ùd or oud is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in many Mediterranean countries. It is prevalent throughout North Africa. The ùd lacks frets & has a smaller neck than the South European lute. It is considered an ancestor of the guitar.

According to Abū Nar Muammad ibn Muammad Fārābī, a late 9th to mid 10th Century scientist, philosopher, cosmologist, logician, & musician, the ùd was invented by Lamech, the sixth grandson of Adam. Legend tells that the grieving Lamech hung the body of his dead son from a tree. The first ùd was inspired by the shape of his son's bleached skeleton. The oldest pictorial record of a ùd appears on a cylindrical seal dating back to the Uruk period in southern Mesopotamia over 5000 years ago.

While studying English Letters in the U.K., Fawzi Chekili became impassioned with music & jazz in particular. Currently a professional musician & teacher in Tunis, he is active both locally & internationally. With over ten albums to his credit, Fawzi Chekili blends the colors of his native Tunisia with the sophisticated harmony of jazz.

Fawzi Chekili – Taqasim, Blue Jasmin, 1993.
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Tracklist –

Malouf Funk                          
Selma's Mosaic                                   
Hafla Jazz      


Ghalia Benali was born in Brussels in 1968. At age three she moved with her family to the south of Tunisia. Here she grew up in an artistic family. Early on she was introduced to music & poetry : French chanson, Egyptian & Indian musicals;  melodies from Syria; the Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum; & the sung readings from the Koran. Even as a toddler she sang & performed Arabian & Indian dances at family parties.
Ghalia is one of the musical surprises to emerge from the Arab world at the turn of the millennium. A successful actress, she played a leading role in the film “La saison des homes”.  Her highly acclaimed concerts in Tunis, Paris, & Brussels had the record companies queuing up to sign her, but she preferred to wait until she had found her dream line-up.

Thus the formation of Timnaa, an international ensemble whose virtuoso fiddles, flamenco guitars & Arab percussion carry her expressively smoky, profoundly emotional voice from Tunisia to the world.

Ghalia herself describes Timnaa as “Arab music in new form, sometimes festive but never profane, occasionally romantic & elegiac, or even classical & medieval, sometimes wild & over the top – a passport to many cultures, a microcosm that merges the centuries into something new”.

 Ghalia Benali – Roméo & Leila,Music & Words KMKL2006001, 2006.
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Tracklist –

Lennass Aideen
Ya M’safer
Romeo & Leila
Kitabi Ya Sidi Ya Baba




  1. Fawzi Chekili
    Ghalia Benali

  2. both of these look like treats.