Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
Unfortunately I missed the AL-MADAR show at The Stone on Friday, October 5, 2012 because I was still in Tokyo. As you might remember AL-MADAR was opening up for my band SoSalA at at the CD release party at Nublu in March. Since that show the band has went through member changes. Al-Madar became a new 5-piece instrumental band of the New York Arabic Orchestra, fronted by Bassam Saba of Lebanon , a renowned figure of Arabic music and director of the New York Arabic Orchestra. performing on the oud, saz, nay, and western flute and violin, in collaboration with Arabic percussionist and drummer April Centrone, joined by guitarist Gyan Riley, Timba Harris on violin/viola and trumpet, who’s also a member of one of my favorite bands the Secret Chiefs 3, and the versatile electric bassist Brian Holtz.
Bassam Saba and his NY Arabic Orchestra has been featured in DooBeeDoo a couple of times for the last two years. I’m actually surprised that Saba joined this ensemble because usually, as far as I know him, he wouldn’t play at small clubs like the STONE. Guess his young members convinced him to join and be the leading part of this ensemble.
Watching and listening to the videos this ensemble plays a mix of Arabic music to Afro Beat and progressive rock. What is missing is a human voice which would express an important element of Arabic music: melancholy.
Please enjoy the videos from this concert which I found in YouTube!