14 March sees the release of two fantastic new Rough Guide albums: The Rough Guide To African Guitar Legends and The Rough Guide To Bellydance.
These two new releases highlight the diversity of musical creation and offer an insight in to two vast genres.
The many different Bellydance styles of the Middle East are accompanied by an equal number of rich musical traditions. Different folk styles include those from the regions of Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Greece. The history of the guitar in Africa is just as diverse. From the Niger river blues of Ali Farka Touré to the soul influenced Zimbabwean style of Oliver Mtukudzi, Africa has spawned many seminal guitar virtuosos.
These two new Rough Guides illustrates how the traditions of the guitar and of Bellydance have been variously reinvented in new and fascinating ways.
This Rough Guide features twelve tracks of expert picking, strumming and grooving from across the continent. The guitar probably first arrived in Africa in the 14th century brought by Portuguese traders to the west coast, but plucked lutes and string instruments have deep roots in many African traditions. It is fascinating to hear the wealth of different approaches to the instrument by African artists. Such approaches include the translation of traditional African rhythms onto the guitar and the development of innovative finger-picking styles.
Featuring a bonus CD from Syran Mbenza & Ensemble Rumba Kongo: Immortal Franco
For many, the term Bellydance may instantly conjure up an image of luxuriously bejewelled women dancing entrancingly before a crowd. This Rough Guide explores a selection of different musical styles that accompany the many different and nuanced styles of Bellydance. On this CD you can experience everything from Turkish instrumental taksimto modern tribal fusion.
Featuring a bonus CD of Bellydance One-On-One Essential Technique with Virginia