Ever hear anything by Tinariwen?...check out his/their "Emmaar".
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Tinariwen group, is definitely an excellent choice. Their music is kind of Sahra-blues which is so unique on its genre.I went see them on concert two times and there are phenomenal.
Some of my favorites Middle-eastern/Mediterranean are:
- Under the Olive Tree
Ron, Yuval Ensemble (Music from Israel and Middle-east)
- A Wish
El Din, Hamza (an egyptian/soudanais) whom also played Oud with some of famous jazzmen and musicians) This recording is very good too.
- Thimar, Le Pas Du Chat Noir (the foot-print of black cat)
Anouar Brahem (a fusion of Oud with Jazz, excellent on live concerts, he is an Oud musician from Tunisia whom lives in France and played with people like Dave Holland and some famous french accordion players)
- Mozart L'Egyptien
Milen Natchev (an interesting interpretation of Mozart with Middle-eastern themes and voice!)
- Oud Vibrations: East Meets West
Ahmed Abdul-Malik & Chick Ganimian (an excellent old Jazz-Oud fusion, I got the lp and I am not sure about CD quality)
If you go to youtube and type in "iranian music tar"there are quite a few videos.The tar sounds a bit more full bodied than the oud,more like a sitar with less sympathetic strings.I discovered it while trying unsuccessfully to get info on persian issued vinyl I bought at a thrift store.Some of these cats can really blow.Enjoy.
I don't have any fusion for you but good music would include: a cd called "songs of greeces gypsies" which you can order the cd on Amazon or download decent files on iTunes or other sites. These are songs the gypsies play and I have heard done in different labguages while traveling in Bosnia, Croatia, Crete, Greece, turkey and even Lebanon. You can hear Arabic Spanish guitar and rythyms, classic Balkan melodies and Aegean themes. Only the gypsies can bring this all together.
Good quality standard non fusion would include anything by turkish singer candan ercetin, and Lebanese singer elissa. Both are high quality pop. Also of course anything by Lebanese singer fairuz is usually great but avoid some of her cover work in the 80s. If you can find a fairuz lp the sounds is great. I have heard but never been able to purchase.
Mahwash - Radio Kabul
Abdel Gadir Salim - Sounds of Sudan (Salim, Mubarak, Gubara)
Emil Zrihan - Ashkelon Morroccan Maval (don't miss it - Amazon)
Rahim Alhaj with Souhail Kaspar - When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq
Rasha - Sudaniyat
Amina Alaoui & Ahmed Piro - Gharnati (Gharnati in Arabic = Granada)
Davood Azad - Your Path (Iran)
If you like singing you might enjoy:
Abida Parveen - Mystic Poets from the Hind and the Sind
It is (Pakistani) very interesting entry to hindu music.