Master oud player and composer Simon Shaheen finds the perfect mix on this collection of Mohammed Abdel Wahab's pieces. Wahab's reputation looms large in Middle Eastern musical history; he set the standard for Egyptian music as a prolific writer -- many of his pieces found the perfect voice in Umm Kulthum -- and was a popular actor as well. Shaheen pays fine homage here with seven wonderful interpretations sparkling with oud and strings interplay. Thankfully, usually meddlesome producer Bill Laswell avoids making things sound like his old industrial fusion outfit, Material.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook