Middle-Earth Ensemble’s second release draws influences from the Mediterranean, Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Brazil. Original world fusion music featuring stirring multi-lingual vocals, as well as a few dance classics and percussive solos.
“2006 Golden Belly Award Winners for Favorite Musicians” -Zaghareet Magazine
1. Alá-lá-Ô (Haroldo Lobo) Traditional Brazilian carnival march, arranged by Andy Villas-Bôas. "We crossed the Sahara desert, the sun burned our faces. Many times we had to pray for water."
2. Lavender ( Mesleh) - Lavender is a flower that grows in China and India. Indian raga structure in Ektal (12 beat cycle - 4-4-2-2) and Chinese Scale Ryori.
3. Bint el Shalibiyeh (Trad. Arabic) – Translates to “the beautiful girl”,a popular belly dance piece in a fast Maqsoum rhythm
4. Hagala ( Lazzaro) – Drum solo, based in Mahlfouf, Baladi, Masmoudi and ending in the variation Hagala.
5. We Do Not Walk Alone (Lazzaro/Villas-Bôas/Rotzler) - Based on a Frank Lazzaro motif, traditional Arabic Baladi rhythm. Villas-Bôas' lyrics reflective of continued crisis in the Middle East.
6. Azzuri (Lazzaro/Villas-Bôas /Rotzler) - Based on a melody by Frank Lazzaro, dedicated to his wife Shalimar and her lovely blue eyes.
7. Alf Leyla wa Leyla (One thousand and One Nights) (Baligh Hamdi) - Classic Egyptian piece made famous by legendary singer Omm Kalthoum.
8. Misirlou (Trad. Greek, lyrics adapted by Villas-Boas) – Popular slow dance piece in a Bolero rhythm. Dedicated to Sonia and Shadiya of Hawaii.
9. Ten to Twelve (Lazzaro) – Drum Solo, with several rhythmic time changes, including Samai (10/8) to Debhke (12/8).
10. Osculare (Villas-Bôas) - Alternating nine and seven beat cycles.
11. Dakar (Villas-Bôas /Rotzler) –Named after Israeli submarine that sunk on its way to Haifa in January of 1968, was finally found in 1999 3 km beneath the sea. (21 beat cycle - 5-5-5-6)
12. Cairo to Casablanca (Lazzaro) – Drum solo, starting in Egyptian style and ending with Moroccan style.
13. Simin Bari (Persian Trad.) – Translates to “little flower”, as Persian children are often referred.
14. Hamza (Mesleh) - Homage to the late Nubian oudist Hamza el Din, set in a Moroccan 6/8 rhythm.
Andy Villas-Bôas – Bass, guitar, vocals
Anthony Sarain – Soprano sax, flute
Frank Lazzaro - Dumbek, bongos, frame drum, riq, bendir, qaraqeb, udu, shakers, tambourine, cymbals, chimes, claves.
Michael Mesleh – Oud, cumbus, guitar
Robert Rotzler – Mandolin, violin