The King of Sudenese Jazz by Sharhabil Ahmed on Habibi Funk Records

Sharhabil Ahmed - The King Of Sudanese Jazz


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Sharhabil was born in 1935 and he is the founding father of the Sudanese Jazz scene. His aim was to modernise Sudanese music by bringing it together with western influences and instrumentation, as he summarised himself in a 2004 interview for Al Ahram Weekly, “Haqiba music, you know, was traditional vocal music with little accompaniment beyond a tambourine. When our generation came in the 1960s, we came with a new style. It was a time of worldwide revolution in music. In Europe, the rhythms of swing and tango were being replaced by jazz, samba, rock- and-roll. We were influenced by this rejuvenation in Sudan, too. I started out by learning to play the oud and traditional Sudanese music, and got a diploma from the music institute of Khartoum University. But my ambition was to develop something new. For this, the guitar seemed like the best instrument. Western instruments can approximate the scales of Sudanese music very well. After all, a lot of Western music is originally from Africa. I have absorbed different influences, from traditional Sudanese rhythms to calypso and jazz, and I hold them together in my music with no difficulty.”

Referring to its sonic appearance, Sudanese Jazz hasn’t too much in common with the western idea of Jazz. Sharhabil’s sound feels more like a unique combination of surf, rock'n'roll, funk, Congolese music and East African harmonies.

Fully licensed from the artist, this LP comes with a 12-page booklet including liner notes, interview and unseen photos.


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