(This is also a tip of iceberg!)

STELLA CHIWESHE / Ambuya? / Ndizvozvo (1988)

1. Chachimurenga 2. Nehondo 3. Njuzu 4. Mugomba 5. Chamakuwende 6. Kassahwa 7. Chipindura 8. Ndinogarochema 9. Sarura Wako 10. Kachembere 11. Chapfudzapasi 12. Ndikafa 13. VAna Vako Vopera

Mbira is an instrument from Zimbabwe which is like a relative of marimba and karimba. This is a work from Stella Chiweshe, a "Queen of Mbira", and her band the Earthquake. Tracks 1-9 were produced by Hijaz Mustapha and recorded in Berlin, while tracks 10-13 were recorded in London for BBC's John Peel Show. Sabah Habas plays bass on tracks 1-9 with Houzam Mustapha (ds).


1. Alla L'aa Ke 2. President Diawara 3. Lambango 4. Sana Diop 5. Madiba Jabi 6. Amadou Faal 7. Sarah 1 8. Sarah 2 9. Ami N'Diaye 10. Mariama Diallo 11. British 12. Sana Diop (Live Bonus Track)

Gambia's Dembo Konte and Senegal's Kausu Kuyateh are two jalis, master musicians of kora (West Africa's multi-stringed harp-lute). As a duo they travelled world wide, and when they played in the UK in 1989, they collaborated with Hijaz, Houzam, and Sabah Habas from 3 Mustaphas 3 (photo). The main feature of the album is definitely duo's vocal and kora, but once John Kirkpatrick's button accordion comes in, it creates cute but interesting mood which belongs to neither Europe nor Africa. Track 3 is an old song from Mali, but transformed by boogie-type arrangement. Sabah Habas plays vibrant bass, and especially track 6 makes us dancing :-)

This album was chosen by British music magazines "Q" and "Vox" for World Music Album of the Year. When re-issued in 2001, a live track from their London show in 1989 was added as a bonus track. For more information about Konte & Kuyateh, click here.

RINKEN BAND / Rikka (1991)

1. Nenjyukuduchi 2. Funayare 3. Shichiguwachi Eisa Machikanti 4. Nenjyukuduchi - Okinawastaphabilly mix

In 1991, from Okinawa, Japan, Rinken Teruya and his band Rinken Band travelled to Britain and France to play some gigs. During this visit, they recorded a maxi-single in London where Hijaz, Houzam, and Sabah Habas from 3 Mustaphas 3 joined and played in all 4 songs. Sabah Habas says he likes Okinawa music, and here, in addition to his vibrant bass, you can hear Sabah Habas and Houzam in jolly chorus :-). The CD had been out of print for a while, but was re-issued from Rinken Records in 2002.

MICHELE BARESI / Kannibalen (1991)

1. Baresi Marsch 2. Amerika 3. Hast Du Heute Etwas Zeit 4. M. B. in Kinshasa 5. Der Regent Ist Tot 6. Urbs Intacta Manet 7. Kannibalen 8. Mokhtars Karawane 9. Christenvolk 10. Dass Nichts Bleibt 11. Suesse Liebe 12. Der Teppichdieb

Michele Baresi is an 8-piece band from former east Berlin. Their music is a mixture of ska, reggae, and punk with flavour of Africa, Klezmer, and other world music. All the songs are sung in German, and in a sense, at least to my ear, it sounds a bit like German version of Les Negresses Vertes. Sabah Habas produced this album, but in fact he joined the band palying "miso gtr" on track 7, 'Kannibalen' (Well, I guess "gtr" stands for "guitar", then, er ... what does "miso guitar" mean???). Houzam Mustapha also appears on 3 songs.
By the way, I'm looking for this album on CD (I only found an LP!). If you find a CD version of this album by any chance, please let me know! It will be very much appreciated!!

TARIKA SAMMY / Fanafody (1992)

1. Rabeza 2. Transport 3. Siloka 4. Taralila Rasaraka 5. Sarak' Ela 6. Fanafody 7. Tsenao Amin' Ny Gara 8. Tonga Vahiny 9. Ramiaramila / Arahaba 10. Variana Variana 11. Zanahary 12. Soa Ny Manakavana 13. Misy Kalo 14. Famadihana

Tarika Sammy is a four piece band from Madagascar. This album was produced by Hijaz Mustapha, and you can find many familiar faces from an extended Mustapha family on this CD. Sabah Habas is on all of the songs and plays really cool base on tracks 8, 10, and especially 6!!

MAURICE EL MEDIONI / Cafe Oran (1996)

1. Bienvenue / Abiadi 2. Taktouk Andalou / Ghazalati 3. Ma Aamlo Biya 4. Rai Rock Rumba 5. Ya Ghbina 6. Ma Testahalchi 7. Ya Maalem / Kelbi Razzahi 8. Meklassates 1 & 2 9. Ahla Ouassala 10. Moel' Medio 11. Cocktail Andalou

Born in 1928, Maurice el Medioni, a Jewish pianist, grew up in Algeria, and later moved to France. He was influenced by Andalusian music, Cuban rumba, and boogi-woogie, and introduced these elements into Arabic music. If a word "Ethnic Jazz" can exist, this is what to describe his music. Sabah Habas joined this project with musicians such as Michel Rebibo who sings both in French and Arabic, Marco Majmaran (ds & per) who has been working with Maurice for years, and Frank London (trumpet) from Klazmatics. Mind you, we rarely have jazzy piano running around on top of Sabah Habas's/Colin's bass! So this is very interesting, and you can enjoy great instrumental part in tracks 2 and 10 for instance.

BLUE ASIA / Hotel Istanbul (2001)

1. Blue Funk a la Turk 2. Mustapha 3. Abyssinean Reggae 4. Alabali 5. Antalya 6. Uskudar 7. Ramazan's Lament 8. Hawadeet 9. Oud Taksim 10. Kopthica 11. Kervan 12. 2 after 2 13. Blue Mosque 14. Mustapha Mambo Istanbul 15. Abyssinean Dub 16. Ceddin Deden / Dur Yerinde

This is a second album from "Hotel" series by Blue Asia, a project led by Makoto Kubota from Japan. The theme of this album is Istanbul where cultures of the East and the West meet, and it contains music from middle east as well as newly composed songs inspired by Arabic music. Here Sabah Habas sings 'Mustapha' (tracks 2 and 14), and the album credit indicates that he was probably involved in the arrangement of this song as well. The second 'Mustapha' (track 14) is a different version remixed by Yoichi Ikeda in a style of mambo!

TARIKA / Soul Makassar (2002)

1. Koba 2. Allo Cheri 3. Sulawesi 4. Kingsong 5. Baraka 6. Tovovavy 7. Set Me Free 8. Aretina 9. Ela 10. Sekta 11. Malalako (Be My Baby) 12. Madindo

After Tarika Sammy (mentioned above), Hanitra and Noro, female members of Tarika Sammy, teamed up with 3 guys and formed Tarika. One day, Hanitra, leader of the band, was watching a TV programme on Sulawesi of Indonesia, and was interested in some similarities between cultures of Sulawesi and her country Madagascar. Her trip ot Sulawesi in 1999 inspired her and the band to make this album where Ismet Ruchimat, Agus Supriawan, Asep Maung, and Yadi Piteuk of the Jugala All Stars, familiar faces from Sabah Habas's albums, play on 8 songs. Sabah Habas himself produced the album, and he also plays bass on tracks 4, 11, and 12, and takes backing vocal on track 4.

The most notable feature of the album is how powerful those Indonesian musicians can be -- because once their sounds come in, the image of the music just flies to Java! Personally, the most interesting tune is 'Madindo' (track 12) . With deep winding sound of Sabah Habas's bass and all the sounds from the Jugala All Stars, this song has some similarities with Sabah Habas's 'Geulis' (in "So La Li"). In a liner notes of Tarika's best album "10", Hanitra says that she had to do this song in a style of rap because there was so much to say about her journey, and according to her interview in the Japan Times (10 June 2001), other members of Tarika didn't play on this song. These points explain why 'Madindo' and 'Geulis' share a similar atmosphere. By the way, if you listen to 'Madindo' (Transglobal Underground Remix) from Tarika's "Ten" album, you can feel how prominent and influential Sabah Habas's bass is! -- They stripped bass sound off, and without his bass, it sounds very different, indeed.