Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band Egyptian Jazz

 

Salah Ragab and The Cairo jazz Band Present Egyptian Jazz

SALAH RAGAB AND THE CAIRO JAZZ BAND PRESENT EGYPTIAN JAZZ

Salah Ragab formed the first jazz big band in Egypt { The Cairo Jazz Band } in 1968, he was also the leader of the Military Music Departments in Heliopolis, some of the best musicians in Egypt of that time were members of the band such as { Zaki Osman, Trumpet } – { Saied Salama, Tenor Sax } – { Khamis El -Kholy, Piano } – { Ala Mostafa, Piano}. On this recording The Band consists of five Saxophones, four Trumpets, four Trombones, Piano, Bass, Drums and Percussion and various other oriental instruments. The opening concert of The Cairo Jazz Band was in Ewart Memorial Hall at The American University 23/02/1969, There were many other concerts in various prestigious places such as the Old Opera House, The University of Alexandria and appearances on Egyptian T,V Jazz Club Weekly. Salah Ragab accompanied the great band leader and composer Sun Ra on a Tour in Egypt, Greece, France and Spain in 1984. He also studied jazz theories and improvisation with the Jazz musician and composer from Kansas City -USA, Osman Kareem, with whom he formed the first Jazz Quintet in Cairo in 1963 recording with the Radio Service of Cairo. He gave a series of educational lectures about Jazz History at the German Culture ‘Goethe Institute’, plus writing the only jazz book in Arabic ‘Jazz Music The Roots and Future’.

These recordings present Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band’s definitive work, recorded in Heliopolis Egypt between 1968 and 1973. Western Jazz musicians have been fascinated with the world of Islam for many years, for religious – spiritual, musical and sociological reasons. It was therefore inevitable that musicians of the Arabian North African area would play a part in the interaction of these two Musical Cultures. The compositions correspond to the cross over of musical styles at the time of the recording, 6000 miles away across the Mediterranean and Atlantic in New York with releases on Moodsville by Yusef Lateef and RCA by Ahmud Abdul-Malik.

ARTYARDCD006

1: Ramadan in Space Time
2: Dawn
3: Neveen
4: Oriental Mood
5: Kleopatra
6: Mervat
7: Egypt Strut
8: A Tribute to Sun Ra
9: Latino in Cairo
10: Black Butterfly
11: The Crossing { Oubour }
12: Calling You
13: The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt
14: A Farewell Theme

Salah Ragab was a drummer and chief of the military music department of the Egyptian army in the late 60s, wile playing marches by day he remained fascinated by the sound and expression of jazz music. The Cairo Jazz Band project formed from the ranks of the Egyptian army and meet in the self-designated “Jazz House’ of the Cairo barracks to practice and learn about jazz. The scant recordings that survive (made up of an LP given to visiting diplomats, a lone 7” single and some unreleased material) are a fascinating insight into the progressive attitudes simmering in Cairo at the time: Arabic scales and instruments meet the spiritual jazz of Sun Ra and the Afro-centric explorations of South African Randy Weston, combining to produce a unique sound that celebrates the universality of cross culture musical expression.

Redolent of the work of the Ethiopian Mulatu Astatke in the use of Middle Eastern scales and rhythms with a jazz sensibility, the fusion of the traditional and the modern on this album seem to be an answer to the American Jazz musicians of the time who were experimenting with music of different cultures. The sounds on this album make up a hitherto untold chapter in the story of the development and diversity of Jazz around the world.

Salah Ragab would later go on to tour with Sun Ra and produce the acclaimed “Sun Ra meets Salah Ragab in Egypt” LP in the early 80s. This release is a testament to the unique sound Salah Ragab created in Cairo.

Both Vinyl and CD are fully Re-mastered and include previously unpublished photographs plus liner notes telling the story of the Cairo Jazz Band from musician and teacher Hartmut Geerken. The CD includes Four previously unreleased tracks.

RAMADAN IN SPACE TIME.

A 4/4 rhythm. Composed and arranged by Salah Ragab and Eduard Vizarari. All Muslims of the world meet spiritually in the holy month of Ramadan to fast, the composer’s aim is explaining that Islamic people celebrate creative progress in the arts. A very old traditional and small drum called { BAZA } starts the theme of the track.

DAWN:

A 6/8 rhythm. Relates to a Hymn inspired from two main holy Moslim Feasts { El-Adha and El-Fitr } Bairam and lesser Bairam – expressing a well-known prayer song at the dawn of each feast.

NEVEEN:

A 4/4 rhythm. A very popular name among the Egyptian young generation. This tune is dedicated to the composer’s second daughter, who contributed to the track at the age of six with the bass line.

ORIENTAL MOOD :

A pure Oriental tune based on 6/8 rhythm, the solo is mainly played by the Nay {Bamboo Flute] and is based on the Hogaz Arabic Scale, which is named { Malam } well known in West and North Africa. Featuring together with other Oriental percussion instruments such as El Rek { Tamborino } and { Darbuka } – Oriental Bongos , piano, and double bass to help create the link between the musical tradition of European and Oriental music.

KLEOPATRA:

A 4/4 rhythm One of the most mysterious and magic personalities in the history of ancient Egypt is Kleopatra. The tune expresses some of the beauty found in the pharonic times and mixes the past with the present.

MERVAT:

A 3/4 and 7/8 rhythm adapted to a simple theme dedicated to one of the composer’s daughters.

EGYPT STRUT *

Ensemble from The Cairo Jazz Band. Zaky Osman, Mohammad Abdu & Khalifa Elsamman ; Trumpets. Saied El Aydy ; Alto Sax. Mahmoud Ayoub ; Trombone. Fathy Abdel Salam ; Tenor .Sax. Abdel Hakim El Zamel ; Bass Sax. Mohammad El- Tobgy ; Electric Guitar. Alaa Mostafa ; Piano . Esmat Abbas ; Bass . Salah Ragab ; Drums . Soloists: Featuring, Mozmar Trio: Aly Abdel Mohsen , Aly Hassan and Hany Awad. ( A Mozmar is a double reed woodwind Instrument invented in Upper Egypt )* Originally released on the Sono Cairo record label as a 45 rpm single.

A TRIBUTE TO SUN RA:

I had the idea to play a tribute to the man in our style, it’s a pastiche of Kingdom of Not, I asked the band and they all agreed on the idea, and this is the way it came to the air.

LATINO IN CAIRO:

In the 50s I had a friend in Cairo his name ( Reckardo Kready ) he was a fantastic Latin music pianist also was a friend with Zaki Osman, both were the favourit musicians to the late King Farouk and he used to go to the night club they play there. One night the King went to Cosmo politian night club . They were not there as there contract was finised, he said ‘where they are” the owner replied” they left the place”. The King ordered ” Bring them now at once”, the King’s guard brought them and they came schaking from fear and when they knew the reason they were very happy with the big reward the King gave them. Reckardo left to live in Spain in 1972 he came to meet me while I was recording with the big band in the

studio , after we finished he asked me “Let’s make a Jam Session”, and that is the way Latino in Cairo was born.

BLACK BUTTERFLY:

The Black Butterflies used to show for one week in spring time, they were beautiful butterflies some with many colors. I was watching them flying in the garden in a swinging way which attracted me like in 6\8 music rhythm style, so I got the idea to compose a tune for this amazing elegant creatures.

THE CROSSING:

{ Obour } This marks the events of the Egyptian Army crossing the Suize Canal and was composed on the 6th of October 1973 when Salah Ragab heard the news he was thrilled about what had happened.

CALLING YOU : Composed for someone, with romance in mind.

UPPER EGYPT { THE KINGS VALLEY }

The inspiration came for this piece when at the age of forty Salah Ragab visited the amazing Valley of The Kings for the first time in his life, it gave him the idea for a dramatic expression of thousands of years ago and an extended voicing with the Cairo Jazz Band and choir.

A FAREWELL THEME :

At the funeral of Nasser , i was responsible for the military brass bands playing the funeral marches . That was unbelievable day – it shows how much the Egyptian people loved that man – no doubt he had a great love in the hearts & minds of his people , even in the whole Arab countries as the leader of liberation . I saw very old men, women, young girls & boys even children all crying severely – some were torning them clothes as expression of the great loss .Some people jumped in to the Nile trying to commit suicide .All of the sudden , the huge crowd were singing a spontaneous lyrics – i had been touched strongly by the tune – that was an improvised kind of real BLUES line – it was of course a very bluesy mood everybody was in . So , i put the theme in a jazz form of 16 bars in a 4/4 African rhythm . I played Conga drums beside leading the band . All the soloists played groovy solos as the occasion thrilled them to their souls !!!!!!.

SALAH RAGAB TALKS ABOUT HIS WORK WITH SUN RA.

The following words are inspiration from the time i played with the Arkestra .. Notes about free jazz music :

Every time i play a solo , i am free to play what i want to play , that is freedom right there .

Music hasn’t changed that much, because people still like good music . Music is not NOISE ! . Everybody is trying to copy , not to be original and go ahead .

The freedom musicians have a large following, some of them have little concept of music or they wouldn’t be following them . In some cases, people like Sun Ra , give them the whole constellation. They are playing that sort of music correctly , Sun Ra is a Top Notch musician . It is appreciated when it comes from a guy who has studied because he is not going to stray too far – he will go way out , but he won’t go so far out that it becomes nothing .Sun Ra has been doing it for years back in Chicago, playing beautiful . He decided to play his cosmic music . He get his music from the cosmos .That is his feeling . That band sounds and groom beautiful . I think freedom music should be limited to those that can play it . It is nothing to open up and play freedom . When i played with Sun Ra , i just run through every thing that my hands will let me do , most anything i want to do . I don’t feel limited . Some drummers when get into playing so-called freedom , they get hung up because they haven’t learned the foundation of the instrument first and can do nothing but make NOISE ! . I don’t think that freedom means just making noise . Noise is something that no one wants to hear . The cry of jazz featured Ra’s music , and immediately come to mind as a GOD – seeker .To play strong forever would be the cry and the worshipful purpose of life .He have made the most moving orchestral statements with the new music . Sun Ra is spiritually Oriented . He understands the future as an ever widening comprehension of what space is , Even to the ” Physical” travel between the planets as it happen in the long human chain of progress . Sun Ra’s Arkestra sings in one of his songs ” We travel the space ways from planet to planet ” ,

it is science – fact that Sun Ra is interested in , not science fiction .

It is evolution itself , and it’s fruits . Sun Ra is a new content for jazz , for black music , again the spiritual defining itself . Love in outer space , outer nothingness , the heliocentric world , when angels speak of love , outer worlds , the infinity of the universe , of heavenly things , etc, and the mortal seeking , the human knowing spiritual and willing the evolution which is the wisdom religion . The content of the new music is toward change it wants to change forms from physical , mental to spiritual , to a spiritual future .

Salah Ragab 2006.

HARTMUT GEERKEN TALKS ABOUT HIS WORK WITH SALAH RAGAB AND THE CAIRO JAZZ BAND.

Cairo, December 1966. The Randy Weston Sextet with Ray Copeland, Clifford Jordan, Bill Wood, Ed Blackwell and Chief Bey is playing at the Ewart Memorial Hall of the American University. After an exciting “History of Jazz” concert ending in a burning version of Weston’s “African Cookbook” three gentlemen who have never seen each other before are sharing a table during a reception afterwards. One of them Salah Ragab, an impassioned jazz drummer and Major in the Egyptian army was, only a short time later, to become the commander in chief of the entire Egyptian military music department, with about 3,000 professional musicians from Upper and Lower Egypt. The second is Eduard “Edu” Vizvari, a professional musician from Bratislava who worked for three years as a bass player with Gustav Brom’s well-known Czech Jazz orchestra. The Third is yours truly, after only a few days in my new job with the German cultural institute in Cairo, musician, composer, author, and teacher. If I remember correctly, it was Salah Ragab who said at some point that evening that he wanted to set up a band in Cairo. The three of us were all fired up that evening ready to launch the first real Egyptian Jazz band. The idea had ignited and was strong enough to outlast the so-called Six Day War and it’s aftermath.

At the beginning of 1968 the idea had come to fruition and, thanks to the appointment of Salah Ragab as chief of the “Military Music Departments”, The Cairo Jazz Band was formed, In the music department of the army there was every musical instrument you could think of at our disposal and Salah was able to chose the best out of thousands of professional musicians. There was one hitch to the whole thing. The musicians were able to read fluently but, as was fitting for a normal military musician, could hardly play anything but marches and national anthems. Many of them had hardly heard of Jazz and I remember holding what amounted to crash courses in Jazz history at Salah’s request at the beginning. While Salah was taking care of the musicians and the instruments, Edu and I were occupied with the rehearsals and arrangements as he had a lot of experience being a music professor, I got hold of ‘scores’ jazz music charts via Germany from Albert Mangelsdorff, Wolfgang Dauner, Peter Herbolzheimer, Bernd Rabe, Joki Freund and others. Edu and I were probably the only Europeans to have free access to an Egyptian barrack in those times marked for the war. This is where Salah had reserved an entire building for the band and for jazz. On the door a brass sign proudly announced “Jazz House” The 25 or so chosen musicians had no other obligation from morning to evening than to dedicate themselves to Jazz. By the time I left Egypt in 1972, none of the musicians wanted anything more to do with marches and national anthems. I remember one particular rehearsal in one of the studios of Radio Cairo when, all of a sudden, a young man was standing in the open door, nodding his head and tapping his feet to the music. This young man was King Hussein who happened to be in one of the neighbouring studios and heard us play. None of us knew at the time he was a great Jazz fan. .. Hartmut Geerken, Archives, Waitawhile.


45’s Limited Edition.

A Tribute To Sun Ra / Latino In Cairo – Single / Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band
Art Yard

Cat No. ARTYARD45001
7 (ARTYARD45001)
Limited Edition Heavy Weight Vinyl Pressing.45 RPM. Recorded in Heliopolis Cairo Egypt in the early 70’s.

SIDE A: A Tribute To Sun Ra Salah Ragab ; Conducting , Piano , Drums , Congas. Zaky Osman ; Trumpet , Flute. Mohammad Abdou ; Trumpet. Ibrahim Wagdy ; Trumpet. Khalifa El Samman ; Trumpet. Mahmoud Ayoub ; Trombone. Sadeek Basyouny ; Trombone. El Saied El Aydy ; Alto Sax. Farouk El Sayed ; Alto Sax. Saied Salama ; Tenor Sax. Fathy Abdel Salam ; Tenor Sax. Reckardo Kready ; Piano. Sayed Sharkawy ; Drums. Moohy El Din Osman ; Bass. Sayed Ramadan ; Bongos.

SIDE B: Latino In Cairo Salah Ragab ; Conducting , Piano , Drums , Congas. Zaky Osman ; Flute. El Saied El Aydy ; Alto Sax Sayed Sharkawy ; Drums. Moohy El Din Osman ; Bass. Sayed Ramadan ; Bongos.

Compositions and arrangements by Salah Ragab. Recorded in Heliopolis Egypt. Mastered by Art Yard ltd. Publishing & Copyright by Art Yard ltd and Art Yard Music Publishing. All rights reserved © 2017 Art Yard ltd.

Egypt Strut / Kahn El-Khaleely – Single / Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band
Art Yard

Cat No. ARTYARD45002
7 (ARTYARD45002)
Limited Edition Heavy Weight Vinyl Pressing.45 RPM. Recorded in Heliopolis Cairo Egypt in the early 70’s.

SIDE A: EGYPT STRUT: Ensemble from The Cairo Jazz Band. Zaky Osman, Mohammad Abdu & Khalifa El Samman ; Trumpets. El Saied El Aydy ; Alto Sax. Mahmoud Ayoub ; Trombone. Fathy Abdel Salam ; Tenor .Sax. Abdel Hakim El Zamel ; Bass Sax. Mohammad El- Tobgy ; Electric Guitar. Alaa Mostafa ; Piano . Esmat Abbas ; Bass . Salah Ragab ; Drums . Soloists: Featuring, Mozmar Trio: Aly Abdel Mohsen , Aly Hassan and Hany Awad. ( A Mozmar is a double reed woodwind Instrument invented in Upper Egypt )* Originally released on the Sono Cairo record label as a 45 rpm single.

SIDE B: KAHN El-KHALEELY: Salah Ragab ; Conducting, Drums. Zaky Osman ; Flute. Mohammad Abdou ; Trumpet. Ibrahim Wagdy ; Trumpet. Khalifa El Samman ; Trumpet. Mahmoud Ayoub ; Trombone. Sadeek Basyouny ; Trombone. El Sayeed Dahroug ; Trombone. Abdel Atey Farag ; Bass Trombone. Mohammad Abdel Rahman ; Bass Tuba. El Saied El Aydy ; Alto Sax. Farouk El Sayed ; Alto Sax. Saied Salama ; Tenor Sax & Baritone Sax. Fathy Abdel Salam ; Tenor Sax. Abdel Hakim El Zamel ; Baritone Sax. Sayed Sharkawy ; Drums. Moohy El Din Osman ; Bass. Sayed Ramadan ; Bongos & Baza, With the Cairo String Ensemble

Salah-45001+45002--Scan

Compositions and arrangements by Salah Ragab. Recorded in Heliopolis Egypt. Mastered by Art Yard ltd. Publishing & Copyright by Art Yard ltd and Art Yard Music Publishing. All rights reserved © 2017 Art Yard ltd.


SALAH RAGAB – EGYPT STRUT / NEVEEN {7″, SINGLE} – JM055
Salah 45
SIDE A : Egypt Strut
SIDE B : Neveen

All compositions and arrangements by Salah Ragab. Published by Art Yard Music Publishing.
All Tracks Licensed to Jazzman Records by Art Yard Limited 2006.
P&© by Art Yard Ltd and Art Yard Music Publishing 2017.
All rights reserved © 2017 Art Yard ltd.


SALAH RAGAB AND THE – UNRELEASED EGYPTIAN JAZZ – JM088

JM-088

DISK 1

SIDE A : Black Butterfly – الفراشة السوداء
SIDE B : Khan El-Khalili – خان الخليلي

DISK 2

SIDE A : Latino in Cairo – لاتيني في القاهرة
SIDE B : The Egyptian March – العرض العسكري المصري

All compositions and arrangements by Salah Ragab. Published by Art Yard Music Publishing.
All Tracks Licensed to Jazzman Records by Art Yard Limited 2012.
P&© by Art Yard Ltd and Art Yard Music Publishing 2017.
All rights reserved © 2017 Art Yard.


TONY ALLEN / HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE / SALAH RAGAB AND THE AFRO EGYPTIAN ENSEMBLE
HONEST JONS RECORDS 12″ VINYL 2008.
Tony Allen _ Hypnotic Brass Ensemble _ Salah Ragab _Sankofa _ One Tree _ Ole
SANKOFA / ONE TREE / OLE /

LAGOS SHAKE, A TONY ALLEN CHOP UP – HJ-LP, 2 VINYL Compilation 2008.- HJRLP34

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Salah Ragab Ole Honest Jons

A1 –Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Sankofa
A2 –Tony Allen Kilode (Carl Craig Remix)
A3 –Tony Allen Awa Na Re (Remix) Remix – Bonde Do Role
B1 –Tony Allen Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) Remix – Mark Ernestus
B2 –Wareika Hill Sounds Reggae Land Dub
B3 –Newham Generals Tetsuya’s Theme
B4 –Son Palenque De Colombia Samba
C1 –Diplo Fuji Oujia
C2 –Tony Allen One Tree (TP’s Spirit Of Unity Remix) Remix – Terrence Parker
C3 –Tony Allen Kilode (Rework) Remix – Wajeed
D1 –Salah Ragab Ole (Cairo Version)
D2 –Tony Allen Ole (Moritz von Oswald Remix) Remix – Moritz von Oswald

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