Mahmoud Fadl “Umm Kalthum 7000” 

December 2023 | 23/12, MUSIC

For those who don’t know her, the Egyptian Umm Kalthum (or Oum Kalsoum) was perhaps the most popular singer in the Arab world from the 1930s onwards, equalled in fame almost only by the Iranian Fairuz. Her life could be the subject of a biopic: she learned to sing by listening to the lessons her father gave her older brother, she performed disguised as a boy and left her village for Cairo, where she met people who inspired her to transcend her art. Paying tribute to her is both commonplace and delicate. Mahmoud Fadl, respecting a traditional orchestration, succeeds in the most beautiful way. The Nubian-born percussionist surrounds himself with an Egyptian string ensemble, and Salwa Abou Greisha takes on the heavy task of singing. Which she does with great mastery. The result is a step away from the hermeticism of some of the Diva’s recordings, making these classics more accessible to an unsuspecting public. An album that will awaken your digger spirit.