The last few days I have been looking for Asmahan’s version of the song “Emta Hata’raf”. Actually, I already have a different version of the song on the album Orient Express by the Yuri Honing Trio and really love it (I also love the song “La Inta Habibi” from the same album). I hadn’t originally known that “Emta Hata’raf” was a fairly well-known Arabic song sung by Asmahan (I didn’t even know who she was either) from the 1930s. I was also looking for a good solo oud player and singer like the music my Bro and I heard in Marrakech. In looking, I came across Farid El Atrache (who happens to be Asmahan’s brother, go figure).
In any event, Fadi recommended the oud virtuoso/jazz fusionist Anouar Brahem, but I already had three of his albums (Barzahk, Astrakan Cafe, and Le Pas du Chat Noir). Nevertheless, I hadn’t listened to any of them in years as they have always been a little too much on the mellow side for my tastes. Then today while browsing through my iTunes library, I came across Astrakan Cafe and decided to give it another go. It’s really a great sound, but what is really great is the cover photo on the album Le Pas du Chat Noir.