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 June 2013


Abdel Gadir Salim (Arabic: عبد القادر سالم ‎) is a folk singer, composer, oud player, & bandleader from Sudan. Salim was born in the village of Dilling, Kordofan province, in the Nuba Mountains in the west of Sudan some time in the 1950s. This desert region situated in the very heart of Sudan, the ‘land of the two Niles’, is the birthplace of many talented, powerful singers. Salim trained in both European & Arabic music at the Institute of Music in Khartoum, beginning with the oud.

By 1971 he changed from composing urban-styled music to traditional country tunes. Seeking out colloquial songs to perform, he began in his native Kordofan & Darfur. Rarely writing his own lyrics, the songs he finds range from politically aware, educational arguments to love ballads. Salim is noted for maintaining a neutral repertoire that keeps him from irritating the Islamic government of Sudan which is less than favorable of secular music.

Sudan is often called the bridge between Arabia & Africa. Abdel has taken it as his mission to fuse Arabic & African sounds of the country & cities, taking musical scales & motifs from Arabic & wild African percussion. He is a leading figure in the genre, commonly referred to as Sudan jazz, no doubt because of its instrumentation (the presence of bongos, brass instruments, & the electric guitar). Salim possesses an impressive vocal range & power. His songs range from slow languid tunes in the Cairo style to frenzied rhythms such as are found in Zaire. He has developed his own style, a true blend of all the remarkably diverse elements & peoples that go to make up his homeland.

On Blues of Kkartoum, Abdel Gadir Salim & his Merdoum All Stars are: Abdel Gadir Salim – vocals & oud; Yassir Abderrahim Taha – guitar; Mohammad Abdallah Mohammad Abakar, Mohammad Mostapha Saleh, & Othman Hassan Othman – violins; Ahmad Abdulbaqi Mohammad Ahmed – accordion; Kamal Youssef Ali – flute; Abdelhadi Mohammad Nour – saxophone; Zaki Ali Mohammad Othman – bass; & Al-Zoubeir Mohammad Al-Hassan – drums.

 Abdel Gadir Salim – LeBlues de Khartoum, Harmonia Mundi 321027, 1999.
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1. Rada Al-Qulayb (Give me Back my Tender Little Heart)
2. Bitzîd Min ‘Adhâbî (She Increases my Pain)
3. Ghannû Yâ Ikhwânî (Sing, O my Brothers)
4. Jamîl Al-Sourah (The Beautiful Face)
5. Ghâba Nawmî (I can no Longer Sleep)
6. Qidrechinna (My Destiny is Love)
7. Anâ Batrâki (I am Under Your Spell)
8. Maktûl Hawâk (Tied by Your Love)

In 2005 Abdel appeared on an album called Ceasefire with Emmanuel Jal. If you haven’t heard it, you might want to search it out. It is available various places around the interweb so I’m not going to post it up here. I am going to feature two tracks from the release to pique your desires.

The story behind this album has as many twists as the Nile itself. At approximately the age of seven (he doesn't know his exact date of birth) Emmanuel Jal was pressed into service with the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He was one of the infamous Child Soldiers. Born in Tonj in Tonj South County, Warrap State, in northwest South Sudan, Emmanuel Jal, like many other children from their country (the so-called Lost Boys), fled to Ethiopia in search of schooling. He was about seven. His mother had just died. His father fought in the ranks of the SPLA. After his own inscription, Emmanuel fought with the Lost Boys for several years.

At eight, he fired his first shot. After almost five years as a Child Soldier, Jal walked hundreds of miles to join a rival rebel group closer to his home in the Upper Nile region.There he met Emma McCune, a British NGO member. McCune is the central character in the book Emma's War by Deborah Scroogins. In 1993 McCune adopted Emmanuel & smuggled him on a cargo plane into Nairobi, Kenya. McCune died shortly thereafter in a car accident. Emmanuel was orphaned again. Jal eventually returned to school, studying in both London & Kenya. A Christian religious conversion led him to take up music as his vocation. He now serves as the spokesman for the Campaign to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.


On Ceasefire Jal joins singer & oud player Abdel Gadir Salim, the venerated master of northern Sudanese music. Abdel is a prominent figure on the other side of the Christian/Muslim divide that has contributed in large part to the civil strife in Sudan. Their collaboration is symbolically moving, but is also musically fascinating. As I stated above, Salim's songs are steeped in both the urban & folk music of his region, whereas Jal is a rapper with roots in American & British hip-hop. They don't blend their styles as much as counterpose them, switching within the same song between Salim's powerful singing & Jal's promising modern hip-hop verbal flow.

It is better to build bridges than to destroy them "reflects Emmanuel. This sentence reveals double meanings: first, it questions the civil war that has ravaged Sudan for over twenty years; second, referring to his collaboration with Abdel Gadir Salim, a Muslim. Yet there is a strong bridge between them. Both have known the consequences of personal violence; Jal with a rifle in his hands & Abdel as the target of the wrath from the fundamentalist Muslim campaign in Khartoum against secular music.

Emmanuel Jal & Abdel Gadir Salim – Ceasefire, Riverboat Records 1038, 2005. 
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Tracks –
6. Gua
8. Baai

Think about it,


  1. Le Blues

  2. the abdel is great. i have always enjoyed that record. i will check out ceasefire.
    the chapter on polyrthymns and polyphony is a great one. i have been composing quite a bit of stuff
    influenced by that book and by conlon nancarrow. hope you are well. i am glad to be back

  3. Sorry to say, but these records are a poor shadow of what Sudanese music can be. The artists are allright but very often the qualities of local recording technicians are overlooked. These 2 records are surely mixed by european producers and technicians. Listen to this
    or this
    or my favourite singer ever

    This is not to critisize you > the opposite. You did a wonderfull job al these years ago