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Khaliji · Reviews

Review by Dr. Ali Jihad Racy

"Khaliji" is executed with brilliant musicianship and good taste. It represents the collaborative work of two exceptionally talented and highly versatile musicians (Souhail Kaspar - tablah and Naser Musa - oud) who have distinguished themselves in the world of arabic and middle eastern music. The music ranges from the very subtle to the highly dynamic and displays a rich variety of timbres, meters and melodic nuances.

-Dr. Ali Jihad Racy
Professor, Department of Ethnomusicology, UCLA

Bridging the Gulf, a review by Sami Asmar

California-based musicians Naser Musa and Souhail Kaspar have released a CD called Khaliji (RT Productions).  Arabic for “From the Gulf,“ Khaliji came to represent the culture of the Arab nations of the Persian/Arabian Gulf.  The music of these nations has gained tremendous popularity throughout the Arab World in recent years competing with productions of the established music industries of Egypt and Lebanon in album sales and television broadcasts, facilitated by the spread of Gulf-owned satellite channels reaching viewers worldwide.

A listener to these broadcasts may distinguish the origin of a new song from the dialect of the singer, rhythmic patterns, or orchestration.  The local dialects of Egypt, the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine), Iraq, the Gulf, North Africa, etc., are distinctive in pronunciation and choice of words.  Note the recent trend for Levant signers to sing in the Khaliji dialect to expand their business base.  Interestingly, most contemporary Arab singers seem compelled to record a sizable amount of their repertoire in Egyptian dialect due to an outdated idea that an artist would not succeed unless accepted in Egypt; conversely, Egyptian singers rarely sing in a dialect other than their own.

Khaliji rhythmic patterns are distinct from the classical rhythms of the Middle East.  The latter vary widely and are based on using a tabla (aka darbukkka) or riqq while the typically compound Gulf rhythms utilize frame drums such as tars and bendirs. Complex sequences of hand clapping are also a fundamental part of the rhythmic background.  The distinguishing factor of Gulf orchestration is their high tendency to maintain the ‘ud as a primary instrument.  Contemporary productions in Egypt and the Levant have gradually abandoned the ‘ud in favor of synthesizers.

The dialect, the ‘ud and the rhythms: the combination of specialties available in gifted ‘ud player and singer Naser Musa and talented percussionist Souhail Kaspar (who constitute half of the world renowned Ali Jihad Racy Ensemble).  Their CD contains nine songs for Gulf stars such as Abadi al-Johar, Abd al-Majid Abdullah, Talal Madah, and Nabil Sha’il.  Naser mastered these songs through field research in those countries, becoming a specialist in this genre.  Naser moved twenty years ago to the US from Jordan to earn a degree in music and has since been performing and composing, having released 24 songs of his composition to date.  The Khaliji CD is subtitled “Songs of Love and Passion from the Arabian Gulf,” and passion is a clear characteristic of Naser’s beautiful voice.  Souhail moved to the US from Lebanon but was trained in Aleppo, Syria, and had worked with great composers including Faird al-Atrash and Wadi al-Safi.  Souhail’s brilliant drumming has earned him tremendous recognition and respect in the world music circles.

Floating above energetic percussion and clapping, the resonance of the ‘ud fills the air, making the Khaliji CD, simply, beautiful listening.

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Review by Mesmera

From the first rich resonant tones of Naser Musa's oud, to the last precise touch of master percussionist Souhail Kaspar's rhythmic precision, this CD is a moving experience!
It is rare to find such an exotic variety of rhythms and songs together in such a professional recording with an excellent mix. Musically, it is an educational journey, as this collection truly reflects authenticity while capturing the heart and soul of it's cultural source.
The nine tracks all feature Naser Musa's smooth talent on vocals and each is uniquely different, with many subtleties and changes that make repeated listening a satisfying pleasure, always the mark of a winner!
Dancers have the opportunity to activate something new through this high quality lyrical blend of smooth comfort and rousing refrains.

Don't miss it!


Review by Farhana Masri


A soulful Oud, longing vocals, Naser Musa lends his beautiful voice to this recording of the music of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Naser, who has performed with Jihad Racy in many concerts, has been playing the Oud and singing since his youth. In addition to his many recordings, he has recorded three cassettes of 24 songs, composed and arranged by him.

If there is only one night, let me spend it with you.
I give my life only to you, my love
I am crying because of what love has put me through

Longing vocals, all with the famous gulf beat, and clapping we have all come to be so familiar with.

Souhail Kaspar, a master at percussion, known for his ability to improvise and embellish the patterns of Arabic music, plays the different percussion instruments on this CD.

Trained in Syria, Souhail has played for such greats as Sting, Arabic superstars such as Sabah, Fairuz, Faiza Ahmed, and worked with composers Farid El Atrash, Sayyed Makkawi and Hanni Mehanna, and has lent his expertise to recordings in well known movies, including soundtracks from the "Prince of Egypt" and "The Siege".

It's nearly one hour of heartfelt singing of the beautiful songs of the gulf for your listening and dancing pleasure.

A must if you love gulf music!

CA shipments subject to sales tax Set Qty to 0 to delete item
 Description Size Qty  Unit Price  Total  
  Khaliji CD   15.00   
Merchandise Total   

RT Productions   ·   P.O. Box 8450   ·   Goleta, CA. 93118   ·   USA   ·   Email: info@rtproductions.com