If one were to take a trip to the Middle East, they will want to take Dahab’s latest record Qabeela’h along for the ride. The Dubai based band weaves rock, blues, jazz, and folk music, while immersing listeners with Arabic to achieve a sublime effort that does not disappoint. Formed in 2004 to secure a spot on the bill for the Dubai International Jazz Festival, the band has gone on perform all over the Middle East, and has become a much sought after band for a variety of events.
Qabeela’h starts off on a good note with the song Nuweiba. This song brings in percussion elements and a variety of ethnic instruments and sounds that will relax listeners soon after the song begins, with its meditation like vibe. The second song Heal deviates from the Middle Eastern influence and goes more in the direction of folk music. The vocals on this track are a bit raspy, but they fit the soft tone of the song nicely. The female vocals on this track sounded thin and do not add much to the song, though it is nice to hear a feminine touch incorporated into the song.
Al Ras is a song that brings the Middle East to the forefront. The song is heavy on the percussion and the flute adds hints of cultural ties for the group. The song sounds like something you would hear in a Middle Eastern movie, as this song is very reflective of the regional culture.
Alice is the one track that lets fans realize the depths of Dahab’s talent. Not straying from the claim that they intertwine different genres, Alice is the jazziest track, and the best song on the album. With a percussionist counting off “1,2,3,4” with the guitar coming in at “4”, it gives way for an easy listening experience that’s brings in a piano and bass player that compliments the track and gives it a full jazz feel.
Dahab is a band that is not to be missed and Qabeela’h is a record that will stay with the listener long after it ends.