December 8, 2008 – 4:29 pm

Pop music conquered the world without a shot being fired. Some countries banned the music as yellow culture. But where the spirit was strong, the music survived.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Cafe Khuttar [no label, 1CD]

Live at Cafe Khuttar, Amman, Jordan, May 19 and 20, 2007. Solo and with his band.

Ilham Al Madfai who looks more like Lex Luthor, Superman’s nemesis than a Beatle from Baghdad, has never looked back since he formed a pop band in Baghdad in the early ’60s. With guitar in hand, The Twisters didn’t shake, rattle and roll the mighty pop charts in the UK or US, but these days, Ilham is a much sought-after world musician. His last album, Baghdad, gained attention in the western music press and earned him an invite to perform in the UK.

This radio show features live tracks recorded over two nights when Ilham performed at Cafe Khuttar in Amman, Jordan. He was also interviewed and this show was recently broadcast on BBC’s World Routes program in September. His powerful voice and nimble fingers, picking and strumming, are stand outs. While he pioneered western musical instruments [guitar, bass, drums and piano] in the Arab world, and became a celebrity pop star in Iraq in the ’70s, these days Ilham is equally gifted in traditional musical instruments.

While Ilham started a pop band in the ’60s when he was 12, he never lost faith. Ilham Al Madfai is 65 today and he’s still rocking in the free world. Others in faraway places like $heep City, grew up, grew old and became salarymen.

Broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on September 20, 2008 for the “World Routes” program. This is taken from a digital broadcast DVB-T (192kbp/48Khz). The two interview segments are with Moshe Morad where Ilham talks about his love for the lost city of Baghdad. Thanks to paul_b35_UK for sharing.
- The Savage Hippo

These tracks are no longer available for sharing. Track 01. Introduction

Ilham Al Madfai and his Band:
Track 02. Bint el Shelabya (Fairouz) (4:55)
Track 03. Allah Alayek (Traditional) (6:31)*
Track 04. Ya Athouly (Traditional) (2:49)
Track 05. Maly Shugbul bil soug (Ilham Al Madfai) (6:22)

Track 06. Moshe Morad interviews Ilham Al Madfai (part I)

Track 07. Ilham Al Madfai: Hatha Mu Insaf Minnak (Salima Murad) (2:47)

Track 08. Moshe Morad interviews Ilham Al Madfai (part II)

Track 09. Ilham Al Madfai: Baghdad (Ilham Al Madfai) (5:00) *

Ilham Al Madfai and his Band:
Track 10. Mohamad bouya Mohamad (Ilham Al Madfai) (6:51) *
Track 11. Ashgar B Shamma (Ilham Al Madfai) (5:00)*
Track 12. El Baghdadya (Traditional) (4:28)
Track 13. Khuttar (Ilham Al Madfai) (5:30) *

* These songs can be found on his album Ilham, The Voice Of Iraq. Released in 2005.

Recorded 19 May 2007 at Café Khuttar in Amman, Jordan
Solo recordings made the following day.

A few of the songs from this live performance are also found on the studio album Ilham, The Voice Of Iraq, a compilation. Buy a copy here.

  1. 6 Responses to “MIDDLE EASTERN PROMISE”

  2. I LOVE this kind of music … thank you so much :-)

    Greetings from Old Europe, Tom

    By Tom on Dec 9, 2008

  3. Great to see you can offer non-European or American music. How about a live tape of African musicians? (Ali Farka Touré for instance…)

    By Albert Mudat on Dec 11, 2008

  4. Is this the “original” stuff or is it a little bit “westernized”?
    Anyway, great music.

    But Alberts suggestion to share live tapes of african musicians like Ali Farka Touré (listen to his last record “Savane” and you know where the blues comes from) is a very good idea. Or Habib Koite, Rokia Traore, Orchestra Baobab, Tinariwen,…

    By Walter on Dec 13, 2008

  5. Albert, there was an excellent 1970s African progressive rock sort of band up a while back called Osibisa. Great feel to it. Perhaps you could request a reupload.:)

    I too love hearing music from around the globe.

    By Societ's Pliers on Dec 13, 2008

  6. Albert, try one track. If you like it, you can take the rest.

    By Admin on Dec 14, 2008

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