Egyptian Jazz (Kindred Spirits)
Jazz / Avant Garde
Salah Ragab formed The Cairo Jazz Band, the first jazz big band in Egypt, in 1968. He was also the leader of the Military Music Departments in Heliopolis, whose membership included some of the best musicians in Egypt of that time, such as Zaki Osman (trumpet), Saied Salama (tenor sax), Khamis El Kholy (piano), and Ala Mostafa (piano). On this recording The Band consists of five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, drums, percussion, and Oriental instruments. Salah Ragab accompanied the great band leader and composer Sun Ra on a tour of Egypt and parts of Europe in 1984. He also studied jazz theories and improvisation with the Kansas City jazz musician and composer Osman Kareem, with whom he formed the first Jazz Quintet in Cairo in 1963, recording with the Radio Service of Cairo. These recordings present Salah Ragab And The Cairo Jazz Band’s definitive work, recorded in Heliopolis, Egypt, between 1968 and 1973. The definitive work corresponds to the crossover of musical styles at the time of the recording, which were produced 6000 miles away in New York with releases on Moodsville by Yusef Lateef and on RCA by Ahmud Abdul Malik. ‘Egyptian Jazz’ represents The Cairo Jazz Band responding to the American scene of the 60s and 70s with influences from Mongo Santamaria to Randy Weston and Sun Ra.