The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr

The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr – Jazz, Jazz, Jazz (CD)

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Incredibly unique modernized adaptations of traditional rhythms of the
diverse regions of Sudan, recorded in Kuwait 1980. The “holy grail”
album from Sudan.
“I heard about Seif Abu Bakr and The Scorpions maybe 3-4 years ago. Their album
“Jazz, Jazz Jazz” ended up on my radar because of an eBay auction with the bids
eventually rising daily up to a staggering 1000$. The music is a unique combination
of incredible horn arrangements powerfully performed, a vigorous drummer
contributing a funky backbone and Seif’s vocals uniting those elements. The results
range from instrumental tracks awaking memories of 1970s crime thriller
soundtracks to more Sudanese-rooted tracks, a lot of them modernized versions
traditional rhythms of the diverse regions of Sudan and even an excursion into
Colgolese Soukouss.
I went for my second trip to Sudan in December 2018 and after doing some
research on the first trip my local colleagues Larissa and Yassir had managed to
reach Amir, The Scorpions band leader and he was happy to meet. We got together
with him in a Cafe right at the Nile in Omdurman. It was a happy occasion for
everyone. He told us stories about him meeting Jimmy Cliff and Lewis Armstrong
when they visited Sudan and how he and his band mates from The Scorpions
played extensively in Kuwait, both in club residencies as well as for television. Amir
brought tons of incredible photos illustrating not only the bands history but the vivid
cultural live in the many music clubs in Khartoum of the 1970s. During this decade
up until 1983 the capital was home to a huge number of clubs, bards and concert
halls. This scene started to perish after president Nimeiry’s turn away from his
socialist policies, that he was widely associated with in the first decade of his rule,
towards the implementation of Sharia law in 1983. During the first decade of his rule
he had actively supported various artists of the Jazz scene, taking some of them on
trips throughout Africa. The 1989 coup of Bashir and his generals then caused the
final blow to a once thriving scene. Both of these political events within 6 years lead
to significant drawbacks for the Sudanese jazz scene resulting into hardly no gig
opportunities left and parties and concerts being critically observed. A number of
musicians faced prosecution, most of the time for their political views; some left
Sudan for good. Music never completely vanished from public life and even the
regime kept selected artists close, but for a majority of those bands affiliated to the
jazz scene life and making ends became a lot harder. The Scorpions dissolved as a
group around the same time.
The re-release was produced with a clean copy of the vinyl version as a source. The
original reel tape of the album stayed with Saif Abu Bakr along with another reel with
other recordings that were never released. Unfortunately it was lost when Saif Abu
Bakr had to flee to Kuwait temporarily during the second gulf war when Iraq raided
Kuwait. Both the CD and vinyl version come with extensive booklets with photos,
interviews, liner notes. The vinyl version also has a DLL code.

Additional information

Weight3 oz







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