Salah Ragab first encountered the Arkestra at a concert at the house of Goethe Institut ex-pat Hartmut Geerken during the Arkestra’s first visit to Cairo and Heliopolis in December 1971 and, although Ra and Ragab did not meet in person on that occasion, they did meet and bond together when Ra returned to Egypt in 1983, resulting in these recordings. The Arkestra had been touring Europe in March 1983 and made their way to Cairo, playing a number of concerts during April at the Il Capo / Il Buco venue before recording the two superb studio versions of Ragab compositions, ‘Egypt Strut’ and ‘Dawn’, at El Nahar Studios in Heliopolis in May, featuring Salah Ragab on congas.
Kostas Yiannoulopoulos, organiser of the Praxis festival in Greece, released the recordings as the A-side of this album, with three tracks by Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Orchestra on Side B. ‘Ramadan’ and ‘Oriental Mood’ were first heard on the Cairo Jazz Orchestra album Egypt Strut released in 1973 while ‘A Farewell Theme’, received its very first release on this record, written following the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970; the piece was played at the much-loved President’s funeral.
This first ever official reissue of the album features previously unseen photos and memorabilia alongside brand new liner notes by Hartmut Geerken and Paul Griffiths. The album is released in its original artwork and is fully remastered by Technology Works.