Toraia Orchestra of Algiers - Ya Bay

Toraia Orchestra of Algiers - Ya Bay
Release Date:
March 18, 1997
Recording Location:
Algiers, North Africa
African Traditions, North African
Ya Bay

Most likely recorded several decades before its 1997 reissue on CD, this fine album by the Algerian ensemble Toraia Orchestra of Algiers deserves a wide hearing by listeners interested in combinations of some of the best attributes of traditional African music and 20th century popular influences. Hearing this for the first time long after its original issue, one is struck by its close resemblance in some respect to the taarab music of Zanzibar, a region geographically and culturally distant from North Africa. Nonetheless, the parallel is inescapable, with the similarly captivating sweet-sour melodies, frequent call-and-response vocals, and haunting textures of the zither- and lute-related instruments.

The female vocals are exuberant and passionate; the liner notes don't say which of the two singers (Anissa Toraira and Zouina) are responsible for the lead on "Ahsin," but it's as sensuous as any performance to be heard in African music.

Asmaousemara / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers3:22
Ahsin / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers feat: Anissa Toraira5:46
Ya Bay / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers2:23
Nar Houbi Techaal / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers4:31
Chataarban / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers6:43
Ahdetli Warda / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers3:17
Uotaaref Men Elihabek / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers6:30
Bir Ish Tamal Haav Ash / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers2:42
Ana Ou Anti Ou Anti Ou Ana / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers2:27
Dalmouni Habibi / TraditionalToraia Orchestra of Algiers7:00

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