Album Review

Music of The Ottoman-American Disapora Vol I [coll] – [City Hall Records]

Cousin Mary   1/23/2013   12-inch, International

These tracks come from 78’s mostly recorded in New York City by immigrants between 1916 and 1929. These years are significant. 1916 was the year after the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians in Asia Minor when presumably many immigrants arrived. 1929 was the year of the stock market crash that began the Great Depression, after which few of these records are found. Vocals and instruments such as clarinet, oud, and violin give these songs a characteristic sound, but with time signatures and keys that sound alien to Western ears. Audio is crisp and clear. Volume 1 is subtitled “Naughty Girl – To What a Strange Place” and represents music for dancing and joy. See liner notes for information on the musicians and translations of the titles.

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