Elias Rahbani was an award winning Lebanese composer, arranger, songwriter, conductor and producer whose prolific musical career spanned over nearly 60 years.
I’ve just been reading about his extensive works which, whilst I’m only going to touch upon a small fragment of it now, was both pioneering and inspiring! He passed earlier this year at the age of 82 through complications with Covid-19, but was still active right into his 80’s. There is a lot to explore, but what introduced me to this artist was today’s song, and if you find it as enthralling as me, I dare say you will want to dig deeper and discover more.
Elias Rahbani’s career started in 1958 after he got a break at the age of 20 when Arabic Service of the BBC contacted him for composing 40 songs and writing soundtrack of 13 BBC Arabic radio productions. From there he went on to release, write and produce many albums, both for himself and for many others. The list is long…but with La Dance De Nadia we start at the beginning; at the beginning of his album releases that is. First issued in 1972, Mosaic of Colour is Rahbani’s debut solo album. It has been described as being his most “globally significant” offering with its boundary-pushing and forward-thinking approach and combines a multitude of instruments and influences from both Arabic and Western cultures.
La Dance De Nadia is a delightful slice of piano-driven Eastern funk which takes you on an exploratory journey into the exotic. Punctuated by melodies that would charm a 100 snakes out of their slumber, this will draw you into its spell with its swirling allure and rolling percussion. Check it out above and if you fancy listening to the whole album, I’ve found a copy on Youtube, here.
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