Abdel Gadir Salim All-Stars

The Merdoum Kings Play Songs of Love

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Salim's mix of traditional and popular elements from Sudanese musical culture can be heard here to stellar effect. Not only will you want to dance, but you might also need to sit back and take in his widescreen mix of violins, percussion, guitar, reeds, bass, and oud. Salim, in fact, delivers some incredible oud solos here, both in a group context and solo. But it's the many full-band outings that impress the most: with Salim intoning atop the grooves, his band weave a tight, yet fluid mix of funky comping and swirling string and keyboard passages. A must for all curious world music fans.

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