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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trésors de la chanson Judéo-Arabe by René Perez

Reinette L'Oranaise and Cheikh Raymond, like the popular local cabaret artists of the time (Lili Boniche, Raoul Journo, Line Monty, Rene Perez), were North African Jews who not only brought a sense of outsider cool to their singing but fused the cantor's keening song to the muezzin's call, creating a new and deeply emotive sound.

Line Monty, Raoul Journo and Rene Perez are all featured on MLP's terrific Tresors de la Chanson Judeo-Arabe series. Perez's volume is the most accessible; he was a remarkable singer with the slinkiness and fire of Al Green. On tracks like "Rimoun Rametni" and "Mchate Aliya," Perez brings a sense of flamenco's power and gravity to the music; on "Ouach el Habayeb," his vocals are soaring and effortless.

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