Leena MALAK  Arabic Tango

The history of this album had begun at WOMAD festival, organized by Peter Gabriel. Russian-born singer, living in London and singing in Arabic, was fascinated by performance of Ashkhabad -- the band...

The history of this album had begun at WOMAD festival, organized by Peter Gabriel. Russian-born singer, living in London and singing in Arabic, was fascinated by performance of Ashkhabad -- the band of Gabriel's Real World label.

Leena was particularly impressed by violin player Gasan Mamedov, while Gasan liked unusual character (Russian Arabic singer in London!) and outstanding energy of Leena. As a result, the idea of recording something together was born.

Leena already had wide repertoire of her own songs to the words of famous Arab poets, including several songs to Russian translation of Arabic verse...

Nazim Nadirov from Manas Records, who was Gasan Mamedov's and Ashkhabad producer, proposed to take evergreen retro-hit by Arabic legend Farid El Atrash as a key and title piece for future album.

In recording sessions, that took about a year, participated the following musicians: Camal Ballan (oud), Vladimir Lazerson (Scottish puck), Tatiana Semichastnova (accordion), Valery Sturov (guitar). Keyboards and the most of arrangements were made by Maksim Brukstein.

Arabic Tango CD (Manas Records MR 7011) released in August 1998, was a nice surprise for numerous European radio stations. In worldmusic charts of Scandinavia, Italy, Greece and some other countries, Arabic Tango CD was in Top 20 for several months. In European worldmusic charts this album was in Top 30, and SFB Radio Berlin awarded it as an Album Of The Week.

27.09.1999, (ЗВУКИ РУ)