Abdel Gadir Salim All-Stars
b. c.1946, Dilling, Sudan. Salim originally trained to become a teacher. However, in 1971, by then already an accomplished oud (Arabic lute) player, he was awarded a scholarship to study for five years at Sudan’s Institute of Music, where he began to explore the folk music of Kordofan, the desert region in which he grew up. Forming a band that featured saxophones, violin, keyboard, electric bass and percussion, as well as his own deep, earthy voice and virtuoso oud playing, Salim became an instant hit throughout Sudan, where he and his band performed at parties, weddings, concerts and national radio broadcasts. He first toured internationally in 1986, with fellow Sudanese stars Abdel Aziz El Mubarak and Mohamed Gubara (all of whom subsequently featured on Sounds Of Sudan). Nujum Al-Lail, his international debut, featured backing from a quartet of Sudanese musicians specially brought together for the recording. However, the follow-up, The Merdoum Kings Play Songs Of Love, featured his seven-piece band in full-blown party mood. 1999’s Le Blues De Khartoum features the best of both worlds, with six tracks of lush, danceable, full-band material topped off with a pair of acoustic tracks featuring just Salim’s voice and ud. Salim combines regular live performances, in and outside of Sudan, with his day job as the headmaster of a primary school in neighbouring Chad.
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World - Released June 10, 1991 | World Circuit
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. © Stephen Cook /TiVo