This live document of the singer, composer, and bandleader Abdel Halim Hafez is of unknown origin in terms of its recording date. It was captured live in front of the Kariat Al Fengan Belly Dancing festival, and the performance is notated by one single track. Initially, one has to wonder if this is the right recording, since the band is featured for the first 12 minutes without the amazing voice of the master to accompany them. At about that mark, the great one enters the room, the applause is thunderous, and he proceeds to work his truly singular magic for the rest of the hour-long concert. He runs through a series of his hits, as well as movie songs and even some traditional folk songs before it's all over. Sound quality is better than marginal and can even be called good stereo, and the digipack is quite beautiful, though the linter notes -- a strictly biographical essay -- are all in French. This is not the best place to start with Halim Hafez, but it is a beautiful place to go once one has encountered his spooky, heartbreaking magic.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
||Abdel Halim Hafez||56:18||Amazon|