Monday, November 14, 2011

David Dor - Saperi Tama
(David Dor Goes International, 1977)

The roots of Mizrahi (or "oriental") music in Israel date back to the 1950s and the mass influx of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East, each with its distinct religious music as well as its favorite Arabic music. The result was fusion music far ahead of its time, and by the 1960s, Tel Aviv's Yemenite quarter was home to a brand new sound.

The son of Yemeni immigrants, David Dor's star began to rise at an early age. In addition to his widely hailed personal appearances in nightclubs he performed throughout Europe and eventually became a star in Mexico of all places. In the 1970's he released several albums of haunting and classic Jewish Yemenite melodies.

In traditional Mizrahi households, a music career was equated with prostitution, and many families forbade their daughters from performing. Ahouva Ozeri, a Yemenite-Ethiopian Israeli singer who became popular in the 1970s, mastered an Indian string instrument called bulbul tarang and helped pave the way for women in Mizrahi music.