Turn The Other Sheik
:: 4/4 Medley With Drums ::
:: Slow Chifti - Floor & Veil Work ::
:: Floor Work (no Tempo) / Slow To Fast Balady, 4/4 Finale ::
In the fifties and sixties, the exotic culture of the Mid-East was considered stylish and hip in the U.S. and A. Arab-themed nightclubs and restaurants were popular in major cities, and its cuisine, music and dance were embraced by the American public. Once transplanted to American soil, the music styles of the various Middle-Eastern countries were blended together into a unique Arab-American style of music that became known as “belly dance music.”
Eddie Kochak, a Brooklyn-born musician of Middle Eastern descent, was one of the more prominent figures in this music scene. He started out by studying percussion for eight years under big band drummer, Henry Adler. He followed that up by serving in the Army during World War II and playing for troops while touring with the USO. Once back in the States, he played the nightclub circuit, eventually teaming up with Hakki Obadia, a composer and violinist from Baghdad. Together, they recorded numerous LPs, transforming traditional Middle Eastern rhythms and melodies into an “Amer-Abic” sound that was more accessible to the American mainstream. Obadia is credited as violinist, conductor and arranger on this Strictly Belly Dancing, Vol. 3 album.
Each side of this 1976 LP contains a full belly dance routine. I’ve broken it up and posted a few selections from the first side. Compact disc copies of all six of Kochak’s “Strictly Belly Dancing” series have become recently available for purchase directly from Kochak himself on his website, where you can also obtain your very own pair of finger cymbals.