"Café Oran" - Maurice El Médioni
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- Artist:Maurice El Médioni
- featured artist:David Krakauer & Frank London
- release year:1996
- catalogue number PIR1045
- audio file
Once upon a time in Algeria... a streetwise teenage boy started playing piano in the bars of Oran’s Jewish Quarter. It was 1942 and American GIs were in town bringing with them the sounds of Boogie-Woogie, Jazz and Cuban rhythms. Maurice El Médioni was that boy, soaking up those musical influences and, adding French chanson, Andalusian and Arabic styles to the mix, growing to become one of the pioneers of Algerian Raï music, playing for some of the biggest names of the golden era and his influence acknowledged by the stars of today such as Khaled and Rachid Taha.
Now, with a band featuring Salamat’s Mahmoud Fadl and the Klezmatics’ David Krakauer and Frank London, the man is back in the spotlight at the Café Oran.
" Médioni was born in 1928, taught himself the piano at an early age and frequented Oran‘s American bars in the 1940s. His big loves were boogie-woogie and Cuban music, and his style is born of the fusing of these distinct influences with Arabic music. The piano is, of course, a European instrument, but in Médioni‘s the melodies take on a middle eastern character, subtly decorated and turning round on themselves in modal arabesques."World music 100 Essential CDs. The Rough Guide