Moorish Music From Mauritania The first modern recording of music from the desert republic of Mauritania, Moorish Music is as beautiful and hallucinatory as a Sahara mirage. Both Khalifa… Moorish Music From Mauritania The first modern recording of music from the desert republic of Mauritania, Moorish Music is as beautiful and hallucinatory as a Sahara mirage. Both Khalifa… Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint Abba World
Music Review

Moorish Music From Mauritania (1991)

EW's GRADE
A+

Details Lead Performance: Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint Abba; Genre: World

The first modern recording of music from the desert republic of Mauritania, Moorish Music is as beautiful and hallucinatory as a Sahara mirage. Both Khalifa Ould Eide and Dimi Mint Abba are descended from generations of court musicians, and each fills a traditional role in which the male singer (Eide) plays lute and the woman singer (Abba) contributes roiling percussion. But these two are also modernizers: The lyrics go beyond the usual Arab love poems to include an ode to Nelson Mandela (''Oh Lord Bring Apartheid Crashing Down!''), and when Eide straps on an electric guitar for ''Art's Plume,'' you may find the hairs on your neck standing up. Soaring above it all is Dimi Mint Abba's singing — so spooky, elastic, and ageless as to make distinctions between tradition and modernity seem petty. Quite simply, she's one of the world's great voices. A+

Originally posted Aug 09, 1991 Published in issue #78 Aug 09, 1991 Order article reprints