Egyptian-Nubian oud and tar virtuoso Hamza El Din mesmerized the Greenwich Village in the Sixties with Al Oud (1965) and became a close associate of Sandy Bull. He then moved west, befriended the Grateful Dead, and released his sonic masterpiece Escalay (1971), that displays the haunting interplay of the oud's gentle strings, the extended percussive range and overtones of the tar and his subdued vocals. Another peak of his art was Eclipse (1978), produced by Mickey Hart and containing five lengthy tracks. In the early 1980s, Hamza moved to Tokyo, where he conceived Songs of the Nile (1982) and Lily of the Nile (1990). Returning to San Francisco in the 1990s, he still concocted pensive and subtle ambience on Muwashshah (1996) and A Wish (1999).
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