The Gilded Serpent presents...
Najia's List of Recommended CDs
2004 edition
Print and compare this list to your present collection or take it to the next festival to help you find these treasures! Listed somewhat alphabetically with a vendor or distributor and perhaps some discription of the cover. Most of these albums are also available online.

Amani & Said-Spinning Peko- white cover with two Amanis on the cover in black and gold bedlah.  Vocals include “butta song” and Tablulha plus a tabla solo. Very modern dance music of Lebanon.

Amani the Badawist Peko- Dark cover with yellow supine Amani and drum. High energy Lebanese vocal selections plus a tabla solo. Best arrangement of Salametha Oum Hassan.

Amera, Music for Middle Eastern Dance Photo of Amera’s face on cover, hand on chin. One of my most happy recent finds. Selections with some vocals and tracks defined so that you can construct your own routines by rearranging them to your taste. Australian with true Arabic sound.

Bassem & Noura, Oriental Belly Dance Peko Dark blue cover with Noura in Black and gold bedla and Bassem wearing his old faithful, green, good luck, polo shirt. Modern Lebanese. Includes one tabla solo.

Noura & Bassem, Oriental Belly Dance Peko Red-Orange cover with Bassem in green shirt. Track one is a favorite best for Raks Assaya. Includes one tabla solo. Modern Lebanese. (Warning: Duplicates Lio Noura contained on the other recording listed here.)

BassemYasbek, Ayoub Peko- Green polo shirt, no English on jewel case, dancer in blue

Belly Dance Aziza Peko- Black cover with Aziza in blue Bedlah. Contains a creditable 19 minute dance routine plus some Arabic favorites for dance.  Produced in Canada but has a true Arabic sound.

Belly Dance Classics by Dr. Samy Nossair Orchestra with Fifi Abdo- Nicknamed “Many Fifis” because it has 8 Fifi Abdo photos on white cover (Be careful, the same cover has appeared on another CD.)  Quirky and fun dance routine in the Egyptian genre.

Beyond The Desert by the Sami Nossair Orchestra.  Russet stripe on cover with the mid-section of a dance’s torso behind. Classical Egyptian Belly Dance selections. Apparently arranged for use in a dance routine with drum solo and finale.  Says “Classical Egyptian Belly Dance” but has a lot of keyboard.

Exotic Balady, Egyptian Belly Dance by Sami Aly Peko- Humorous selections of modern country-style music from Egypt.  Includes a little rap.  Cute, definitely cute & energetic. Vocals. 

Fahtiem’s Bellydance Classics, Peko- Black front, Fahtiem in hot pink twice. Standard dance faire with one table solo.

Instrumental Turkish Coffee by the Esin Engin Orchestra-  Picture of an EMPTY table and chairs on the mostly blue cover. With Shisha pipe and an oud at the bottom.  Typical traditional Turkish dance Favorites recorded with humor and do-able speeds.  Not arranged into routines but arrangements are exceptional.        

Jalilah’s Raks Sharki 3: Journey of the Gipsy Dancer- Not gypsy music at all.  Well recorded, deep sound.  Has Egyptian classics: Ghanili Shwaye, Day & a Night, 1001 Nights, Lamabada, & Tamra Henna plus outstanding percussion solos.

Jalilah’s Raks Sharki 5: Stars of the Casino Opera- Has Samia and Tahiya on cover clasping each other’s waists, black background.  Three lovely (if short) routines from the olden, golden days of dance that were recorded recently.

Midnight Magic Belly dance Music by Dr. Samy Farag Peko- Black cover with Fireworks and dancer posing with white veil. Modern Arabic tunes for dance. Includes a drum solo. Minimal vocals and fine recording. High energy. Produced in Hollywood.

Mokhtar Al Said, Raks Sharki: Classic Egyptian Dance Music- Black cover, two coherent show routines, complete with short finales and drum solos.

Mokhtar Al Said, Raks Sharki 2: Amar 14- Mix and match music for three routines with finales and drum solos.

Nasrah Turkish Bellydance, by Ensemble Huseyin Turkmenler Well recorded, typical Turkish sounds.

Nourhan Sharif in Raqs Sharqi- Tan background, Nourhan torso on cover wearing gold bedlah, draped with veil.  Modern routine music.

Purple Night Belly Dance with George Hammad on Violin Peko- White cover with dancer in purple bedla. Arabic dance favorites featuring outstanding violin music.

Tribute to Om Kalsoum available through Peko- Cover is brown with profile of Om K’s head.  Instrumentals in dance arrangements.

Raqia Hassan presents Samraa Al Nil Badia’a- Black cover, dancer in green, one arm up. This contains complex and challenging music for your dance routines.

Ramzy’s two newish recordings:
(blue and silver cover)                                                                                                
Qanun El Tarab (blue cover with Egyptian art figures) Both contain complex outstanding artistic music, well recorded.  Performance use specifically prohibited without permission.

B list:  Worth Owning
Bellydance a gift from Cairo, black with dancer’s torso. Fully orchestrated 2 routines originally released on vinyl recording, Namoud Ali

Bellydance with Hysim & Najwa Blue- drum solos you can add to your show lineup

Dance Party with Apo, Café Oriental  Cute, for teachers to use in Beginner’s classes.

Greek Bellydance, Dance with Katia, Peko- Greek village superimposed by girl in skimpy costume. Typical Greek taverna musical selections.

Oasis Ceremony with Nay Peko- great snake-specialty music, white/yellow cover, camel, and Palm trees. Modern fusion.

Queen of the Nile Peko- has four roses on cover.  Two long dance routines.

Tapestry of the dance- John Belezikian, good sound; Armeninan. Has a dance routine

Tribal Sha’waza-cover dark with black and brown, henna hands, veiled face.  If you are not into tribal, it is at least good for drill pacing and class warm-ups.

Sax Bellydance, Ala Wahade wa Nuss Peko- has russet cover

Shake Me Ya Gamal: Hot Tabla Solos- bright yellow background with Fifi on cover wearing red.  Truly hot drum routines that are easy to follow.

Oldies but Goodies:
Best of Saidi with Fatme Serhan, Dance with Eva Peko- Eva Cernik in black superimposed over the Great Pyramids with bright blue sky.  Some of the best Saidi arrangements ever.

Cairo By Night, Super Belly Dance with Mohamed Abdel Wahab-Has a young Mona Said on the red cover. 4 dance routines.  Full orchestration.

Non-Stop Belly Dance with Nagwa Fouad-Has the head and torso of Nagwa in orange bedlah against sail of flucca. Two beautiful, long routines with drum solos. Originally released on vinyl.

Ahla Rakasat Nagwa Fouad Music by Mohamed Soultan-Says “the Best Bally Dance” on cover with Nagwa’s face. Three real classics for dance: Shahr El Assal, Arrousti, and Sitt El Hosn. Slightly different from the vinyl.

Belly Dance with Bassil Moubayed Vol. I, II, & III.  Two and three are the best as is.  Vol. I needs the ocean sounds at beginning edited out to actually use for a performance but has outstanding chiftitelli and other takasims.  Lovely instrumentals for performance use.  May be re-shuffled to customize to your needs.

Exotic Orient “In the Flesh”- I know, the title is off-putting and the cover girl, too, but it hails from the seventies and is an excellent recording of an Egyptian style routine.

Belly Dance (Music for an Oriental Dance) Vol. 2- Nagwa on the cover, kneeling on the sand, wearing leopard bedlah. Contains four complete short routine-ettes for your quickie gigs.  Full orchestration, in old cabaret style.

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