Various Artists

Hadra of the Gnawa of Essaouira

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This is the first Western field recording of ritual music from the Afro-Moroccan Gnawa's syncretic religious cults. The performances, backed by the remarkable three-stringed bass guembri and percussion, are less virtuosic than earlier recordings of individual performers, and the recording quality less perfect -- but fans of Hassan Makmoun note: these are his roots.