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The Rough Guide To Sufi Music

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The Rough Guide To Sufi Music

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What is Sufi? According to the liner-note to The Rough Guide to Sufi Music, it can't be put into words but this fascinating musical compilation is the next best thing. Sufism, often expressed through dervish-dancing, is a religious experience: it's a way of harnessing music to join the soul to God. It's also a way of linking Senegal to Uzbekistan, via Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan: it's a potent social glue which transcends national frontiers. If that's the political importance of this record, the musical importance is no less great. Here is the amazing Sheikh Al-Tuhami, whose hypnotic festival gigs draw devotees from all over Egypt; here is the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Here is the Iranian-Kurdish lutenist Ostad Elahi, whose modest purity of tone entranced Yehudi Menuhin. And here, in song after song, are echoes of the 14th-century poet Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, whose verses are still this music's verbal bedrock. If this excellent CD grabs you, deepen your knowledge--particularly of Sufism in Iran--with the aid of Network's double-CD Sufi Soul. --Michael Church

The Rough Guide To Sufi Music