Songs of the Sudan

Sudan contains an enormous variety of music. Al Sunni plays in a popular urban style, developed since the early 1900s, which takes in folk, traditional and contemporary songs. He accompanies himself on the Arab lute, the 'ud, an instrument which offers an ideal accompaniment to the voice.


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Review "Mustafa Al-Sunni is not widely recognised as an artist back in his native homeland, but the music on this album is very well-known since most of it is comprised of traditional Sudanese 'Haqiba' songs that most Sudanese folk would recognise. However, given the way it's presented, "Songs of the Sudan" is an embodiment of expatriate yearning rather than a voice of the more urban and youthful jazz sounds of popular Sudanese music today. Al-Sunni's vocal quality is brilliant, borrowing from the lilting poetic quality of the Arabs, and the soulful crooning of his African ancestry. Beautifully complimented by the strings of the lute, the versatility of this characteristically Middle-Eastern instrument is brought to life, where powerful strumming can elicit the joyful commotion of wedding "Butana" songs ('Haqwi Ley Quli'), soothingly convey the hushed heartache of unrequited love ('Habibi Jafyat'), and bring out the more traditonal semi-yearning, semi-up-liftng sounds of tunes drawn from a variety of musical backgrounds in Northern Sudan. And while I am a Sudanese living abroad, finding this album as both a cause and cure for homesickness, it's not to say that the unaccustomed ear will not benefit from it's refreshing sound. World music lovers and collectors will find here, perhaps one of the best North African sounds, and more specifically, a true testament to the old-fashioned, passionate music of Omdurman, the cultural home of the Sudan. For a Sudanese expatriate, this album is an experience evoking the warmth of Omdurman sun on the skin, the sight of the glittering Nile, and the passion and love of the Sudanese people. For lovers of World music, "Songs of the Sudan" is a glimpse of that warmth, glitter, and passion of Sudan's past, culture and people."- Anonymous
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