On our special weekend edition of Music Ravings, we have more music than (political) ravings. (Okay, still some politics, but wait for it…)
Abdi Qays was a Somali Oud player from the 1960s. He and his musical partner Khadra Daahir wrote love songs, with Khadra usually singing, and Abdi playing Oud.
Here’s one of their duets at this link. The musical couple is kinda sweet! Abdi is often spelled Cabdi on YouTube.
That play is translated into American in this 1970 play: “Layla and Majnun or close enough.“
If you are aware of “Layla,” in short, this was Eric Clapton’s shot at George Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd, who has more cajones than the two top musicians of the 1960s combined. She’s the lady who, when the mop-haired boy-band Beatles drove by, hopped into the car and dated Harrison. Carpe Diem. (She coulda done better.)
Abdi’s style is rapid, rhythmic, and entertaining. We’re not quite sure entirely how to judge a good Oud, other than Duke Ellington’s Axiom, if you tap your foot, then it’s good.
Khadra, however, is a lovely and romantic vocalist as ever we’ve heard, even from the 1960s singing in a language we do not speak.
And Abdi Qays was also arrested in the 1970s for political dissent, the Somali Bob Marley of his day.
Another Abdi song: here. And plenty more on YouTube.
Enjoy your Sunday on the Oud!