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Out of stock
Best of 2021

Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble

Heliopolis (LP)

Label: Holidays Records

Format: LP

Genre: Jazz

Out of stock

A real stunner brought back to life with a much-needed repress. Edition of 300 copies, remastered, comes with a 6 pages 30x90 fold out booklet "One of the great projects in Egyptian jazz, the Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble was formed by Salah Ragab and Hartmut Geerken as an avant-garde offshoot of The Cairo Jazz Band - the first jazz big band in the country - formed in 1968 when Ragab was appointed chief of Egypt’s Military Department of Music and had at his disposal a vast staff of musicians (almost three thousand!), an entire military building, and a full range collection of musical instruments.

When encountering this recording, issued in 1970, the deep resonance found between the ensemble and its American counterparts becomes startlingly clear. Heliopolis is a stunning blend of big band spiritual jazz, the music of the Middle East, and the fire and energy of free jazz, unveiling a deep creative resonance with the contemporaneous efforts of Pharaoh Sanders, Phil Cohran, and - of course - Sun Ra, combining jazz instrumentation and musical style with indigenous melodies and instruments to create a musical object with few parallels. The album is a throbbing, squealing, wild journey through the creative heights of sound channeling swirling, focused artistry that taps future and past in a single blow.

Copies of the original pressing are between the rarest and most sought-after records in canon of recorded jazz. This is the first ever authorized repress released under license from the artist."

Cat. number: HOL-124
Year: 2021
Third edition of 300 copies. First ever authorized repress released under license from Hartmut Geerken. Sleeved on an outer 350gr paper, including a red paper inner sleeve with 'Heliopolis' printed in black, in arabic letters. The edition also includes a 6 page booklet with pictures and a small text by Hartmut Geerken, written in 2018.