A display from the Les Années Pop exhibit at Centre Pompidou. The chicken wire lining the walls is filled with bay leaves; the room is succulent and rich in flavor. You’ll want spaghetti.
As I prepare to leave France, I’ve been buying music that might be hard to find in the States (or prohibitively expensive). Three recent purchases I’ve been happy with are listed below. PS: I don’t get a percentage of any sales made off the commercial links; they’re offered only for your information. Manu Dibango: Anthology (Eagle Records, 2000). A three-piece, three-decade compact disc set from the saxophonist from Cameroon. He works a little too hard at capturing the American soul, jazz and R&B sounds, but it’s an expansive collection and still sports that obvious pleasure-inducing African groove.
—Bios: African Music Encyclopedia, Afropop Worldwide, World Music Portal.
—Discography: Amazon listings, NetBeat.
—Sound clips from the album Bao Bao available. Abdel Halim Hafez: Anthology 1950-1954, Anthology 1955-1959 (EMI Music Arabia, 2000). There are at least six discs to this anthology. A friend of mine turned me on to the “Dusky Nightingale,” who was recommended to her in turn by her father who listened to Hafez in the Sixties and counts the Hafez album Mawood as the one thing he’d save from the house in the event of a fire. Hafez, movie star and singer, though dead since 1977, is still incredibly popular. These two anthology compact discs are Egyptian Arabic chant with that eery rich mono groove that you can’t find on digital media: no articificially separated stereo channels, but no tinny backing instruments, either. Rich, middle-range sound, reminiscent of late-night movies on black and white television in a 10-bed hotel in a one-horse town in a one-channel nation.
—Bios: Arabia Star; Little Horus.
—More information: Mazika: a well-done, graphic-heavy fan site, with photos, clips, wall paper, screen savers and song notes; The Egyptian Castle, with RealAudio and, umm, MIDI versions of certain songs; Eyptian State Information Service RealAudio Page; MMF’s Home Page for Abdel Halim Hafez.
—Discography: Song Search, Amazon listings. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Pakistan: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan en concert à