Chaâbi 2

El Hachemi Guerouabi
Le Maître du chaâbi rend hommage au pays
01     Ouach Dani     06:14    
02     Istikhbar Sbayette Zouj     08:47    
03     Sbayette Zouj     03:22    
04     Tefkira     07:01    
05     M'Khiles Tefkira     07:15    
06     Choufou Massar     01:17    
07     Rouh Allah Issahel     05:21    
08     Ana Li Lahoua Daini     07:27    
09     Ib Aalik     05:31    
10     Zine Ya Zine     04:25    
In this recording, El Hachemi Guerouabi pays a vibrant homage to Algeria, in the Alger style of which he is one of the main representants. Guerouabi might sing the blues of the casbah, but he does not stray from tradition: the finale should always invite you to dance. ~ mondomix
Guerouabi el Hachemi is known as a master of chaabi, an Algerian form of Andalus classical music. The overall sound is Arabic, but with some elements of Spanish folk and flamenco incorporated. El Hachemi's rich vocals stand out from the lush backing of oud, violins, and percussion. Those who think that Algeria's contemporary music scene is confined to the westernized sounds of modern rai should check out these more traditional sounds from Guerouabi el Hachemi. ~ Sean Westergaard
El-Hadj El Hachmi Guerouabi (born January 6, 1938, in Algiers, Algeria - died July 17, 2006 in Zeralda, Algeria) was an Algerian singer and composer of Chaâbi and one of the Grand Masters of the Algiers-based Chaâbi music.
He was born in El Mouradia (Algiers) and grew up in Bélouizdad (formerly Belcourt). Two passions occupied Guerouabi's childhood: Football and music. Being a good footballer he played with La Redoute AC football club until 1952. By then he had developed a special interest to music; in particular the music of El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka, M'rizek and Hssissen.

His win in the El Arbi Music-Hall contest helped him join the Opera of Algiers in 1953, where he was engaged in music but also played several theatrical roles including the famous Haroun Errachid.
After the independence of Algeria from France in 1962, Guerouabi saw the invasion of foreign music, especially from Europe and Egypt, as a threat to the traditional Algerian music. He tries to attract a younger audience by introducing fundamental changes in his compositions that will later make him a distinctive and Master of Chaâbi.
Guerouabi continued his innovations and became an icon of the Algerian popular music. He was invited to perform in various occasions by prestigious institutions and notable individuals, which added to his popularity and respect among Chaâbi fans.
In 1987, Guerouabi went on a pilgrimage in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and gained the title of “El-Hadj”. He moved to Paris (France) in the late 1990s for medical treatment for severe diabetes, where he settled until his death in 2006. Despite his illness, Guerouabi continued to produce music, play in concerts around the world and play at weddings, but in February 2005 he had undergone a surgery that resulted in the amputation of his leg and his decision to quit music. However, due to a growing demand from his homeland, he gave his last concert in Algiers on July 4th, 2005 in front of a very large audience. He was admitted to hospital again in July 2006, one year exactly after his last public appearance, after a heart attack which cost him his life. El Hachmi Guerouabi died on July 17th, 2006 in Zeralda near Algiers and left behind him a large repertoire of music, a musical renaissance but most importantly a remarkable contribution to the vulgarisation of Chaâbi.
Chaabi is a traditional music of Algiers (Algeria), formalized by El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka.

Originally from the Casbah, Chaabi first appeared in the late 19th century, inspired by vocal traditions of Arab Andalusian music, also the home of Flamenco music. Chaabi simply means "popular" in Algerian.

A typical song features mournful, Arabic/berber vocals, set against an orchestral backdrop of a dozen musicians, with violins and mandolins swelling and falling to a piano melody and the clap of percussion beats.

While it shares many set themes with Flamenco - love, loss, exile, friendship and betrayal, Chaabi is part of a deeply conservative tradition and its lyrics often carrying a strong moral message.

At first Chaabi remained a scandalous genre, thriving behind closed doors or in specific locations called "Mahchachat" (cannabis dens)[1] , where the admirer of this music would go to drink coffee, tea or smoke. By the late 1950s, however, it had become the people's music, played at weddings and religious festivals; and El Hajj Muhammad El Anka, "the father of chaabi" also nicknamed "the cardinal", ran courses at the Algiers conservatoire. 

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