The Rough Guide to Mediterranean café music

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: World Music Network
PERFORMER: Various
CATALOGUE NO: RGNET 1143 CD

Advertisement

The Rough Guides’s latest tour features pan-Mediterranean fusion, a phenomenon whose history began with Moorish Spain. The album contains an over-egged pudding from Algeria – virtuoso pianist included – but most items work with more manageable ingredients: a Palestinian violinist with western classical influences, or a Jewish-Spanish conception.

Advertisement

It’s odd to label everything café music when most of the content is meant for serious listening. One of the strongest themes, rather, is high-powered female voices: Yasmin Levy from Israel, Nawal El Zoghby from Lebanon, Eda Zari from Albania, Andrea Parodi from Sardinia, and Eleftheria Arvanitaki from Greece, all qualify for stardom on the world stage.