Wednesday, October 11, 2017
ABDO – Salma سالمة (Odeon, 1973)
International relevance: **
Not exactly progg but progg related, with Solar Plexus appearing during one of the segments of 17+ minutes track ”Ah Ya Zen”; Slim Borgudd (drums), Bosse Häggström (bass), Monica Dominique (organ), and Carl-Axel Dominique (electric piano). Borgudd and Häggström were also in Lea Riders Group and Made In Sweden. Also guesting are Torbjörn Carlsson of Splash and Björn J:son Lindh. Abd al-Rahman al-Khatib (Abdelrahman Elkhatib, عبد الرحمن الخطيب) himself left his native Egypt for Sweden, there becoming a teacher and a musician, sometimes known as Abdo.
”Salma” is a rather ambitious work, drawing inspiration from the Arabian classical music of Egypt with Western choral music – three different choirs appear on the album. Although its progg appeal is limited overall, the album is well worth seeking out for its qualities of its own. The music is often sparse and reflective, spacious yet intimate, much thanks to Abdo's pleasantly melancholic baryton voice.
The album was released in France in 1974, also on the Odeon label but housed in a different, more "progressive" looking cover: