The Word: Brooklyn-born Eddie "the Sheik" Kochak learned drumming from percussionist Henry Adler. He was a leading light of the entire New York/New England music scene and was friends with Danny Thomas (also of Lebanese extraction) and Dean Martin. In the 1980s he played percussion for Anthony Quinn in the Broadway production of "Zorba." Kochak's work continued in the twenty-first century. Hakki Obadia (violin and all strings) and violinist (and oudist/pianist) Fred Elias were Kochak's chief collaborators; others include Joseph Sugar, Steve Bagoshian.
Look for self-produced, early Kochak/Obadia records especially. For the most part these are available in early reissue form. See the Scepter/Mace items below. The very worthy Strictly Belly Dancing series also is an easy acquisition at a low price. And odd records by other artists one-off LPs by various forms of the Kochak-Obadia aggregation are some of the most prized.
Further below: trade wants
Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide:
Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased
Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time
Djamal Aslan: Lebanon--Her Heart, Her Sounds; 20th Century Fox FOX-3001; deep groove N-/N $30 -- gorgeous!; with Eddie Kochak/Hakki Obadia/Joseph Sugar and others; a rare treat!; Mahrajan fe Lebnan (Festival in Lebanon), Jabal el Arz (The cedars of Lebanon), Dabkeet el mandel (Dance of the scarf), Azab (Heartache), Rakseet el sabaya (Dance of the maidens), Ya bint Ya amoora (O radiant one), Inta habibi (My love), Rakseet binty (I see my daughter dancing), Leila, Quainou habib el alb (Where's my lover), Mahla safak ya Lebnan (Summer in Lebanon), Yala nooros (Hurry to the dance), Ana el sayad be yoony (I hunt with my eyes), Zeina
Fred Elias Ensemble with John Tatassopoulos: Artistic Moods for Dance; Intrasonic IS-2002; N/N shrink S $50 (or E/N S $40, specify) -- incredible!; two fantastic side-long tunes ("Artistic Moods" and "Leila"), characterized by great long drum solos and very Moog-like organ and oud in a very psychedelic improv!; first and probably the best of three volumes --very hard to find-- by one of the true masters of the idiom (a musician's musician as well as one of the most desirable names in Mid-East records)
Eddie "Sheik" Kochak, Hakki Obadia, & their Amer-Abic Orchestra: Ya Habibi!--Exciting New Sounds of the Middle East; Decca DL-4501; 1st press N/N $60 -- Mid-East/Mid-East jazz; leads the field in music/musicianship, and it's the first, early Kochak on a major label in hi-fi (top sound sound production, and not reissued); astounding, hall-of-fame jacket features the two principles (each wearing a fez) flanking gorgeous belly dancer Adriana (still performing in Washington, DC last I heard); like most of their early LPs, very hard to find!; Ya Habibi, Ripples of the Nile, Flowers of Beirut, Village Feast, Camel Hop, Mediterranean Fantasy, Dance of the Happy Bride, Happy Jordan, Red Sea Blues, Desert Wanderers, Gardens of Baghdad, Moroccan Delight
Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak & Hakki Obadia Orchestra: Arrac-Laham (Liqueur Araby), Mishwee (Shish Kebab), & Thou; Scepter/Mace SM-10004; N/E+ shrink S $40 (or mono M-10004 N/N- $30, specify) (or mono N-/N- $30, specify) (or mono E+/E+ $20, specify) -- "Festive Dance Music from the Middle East" designed for listening along with the titular trifecta of "rotgut, meat-on-a-stick, and you"; reissues early great stuff on the Georgette label, mainly the fantastic "Ameraba" LP (essentially private press and super rare!); good clean pressing and nice jacket photo; titles, in corrected order: Mizwich String Song (similar to "Jazz in Port Said"), Chant of Daloona, Mustafa al Araby, Cleopatra Dance, Hava Nagila Araby, Miserlou, Sesame Jump, Jealous Wife, Midnight in Baghdad, Ala Baladel Mahboob, Oglan Oglan, 1000 Nights
Soubhi Kochak & Hakki Obadia Ensemble: Middle East Music--Moods of the Casbah; Scepter/Mace M-10011; 1965; orange label N/N- shrink $30 -- note: disc labeled as stereo but it's mono; incredible set, from the opening percussion showcase to "Al-Yooba" (Arabic Barn Dance), which is a rap --that's right, a rap!-- in English; essential; Soubhi Kochak is Eddie, of course; Ya Ghezayil (Rites Before the East)/Nakheel (By the Oasis)/Ana Winta (You & I)/Hawanim (Dance of the Wives)/Al Yooba (Arabic Barn Dance)/Ghali Ya Booy (You Are Dear to Me)//Ma Ali (He Didn't Tell Me of His Love)/Ala Wihda Wa Niss (One & Half Tempo)/Bint Sham (Joyous Damascus)/Samra (The Dark One)/Jazaeer (Dance of the Lovers)/Dinya Kek (Such is the World)
Soubhi Kochak & Hakki Obadia Ensemble: The Best of Middle East Music; Scepter/Citation CTN-18024; 1973/1965; N/N shrink S $30 (or cutout E-/E- S $15, specify) -- fantastic!; clean top-sound stereo reissue of the very rare "Middle East Music--Moods of the Casbah" (Scepter/Mace M-10011; 1965); incredible set, from the opening percussion showcase to "Al-Yooba" (Arabic Barn Dance), which is a rap --that's right, a rap!-- in English; essential; Soubhi Kochak is Eddie, of course; Ya Ghezayil (Rites Before the East)/Nakheel (By the Oasis)/Ana Winta (You & I)/Hawanim (Dance of the Wives)/Al Yooba (Arabic Barn Dance)/Ghali Ya Booy (You Are Dear to Me)//Ma Ali (He Didn't Tell Me of His Love)/Ala Wihda Wa Niss (One & Half Tempo)/Bint Sham (Joyous Damascus)/Samra (The Dark One)/Jazaeer (Dance of the Lovers)/Dinya Kek (Such is the World)
The Ethnic Turkish Orchestra: Road to Istanbul; Scepter/Mace M-10031 (mono); N/N shrink $40 (or N-/N- $30, specify) (or E/E- $20, specify) -- Mid-East/Turkish; with Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak, Fred Elias, Hakki Obadia, Emin Gandiz, Steve Bagoshian, and others it's not an orchestra of Turks, but it is the real deal; all-new compositions by Kochak-Obadia-Elias (not reissued, not available elsewhere) distinguish this first-rate, authentic, great-sounding record (in demand and rare); Road to Istanbul, Wedding Party, Yesllim, Chutak Melody, Naha and Melody, Gazell, Giyer Fistanini, D-Jamellas Delight, Mount Arrat, Kefif Mood, Tarabyoom Holiday, Kadife
The Ethnic Turkish Orchestra: Road to Istanbul; Scepter/Mace SM-10031 (stereo); red label E-/V+ S $15 -- Mid-East/Turkish; with Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak, Fred Elias, Hakki Obadia, Emin Gandiz, Steve Bagoshian, and others it's not an orchestra of Turks, but it is the real deal; all-new compositions by Kochak-Obadia-Elias (not reissued, not available elsewhere) distinguish this first-rate, authentic, great-sounding record (in demand and rare); Road to Istanbul, Wedding Party, Yesllim, Chutak Melody, Naha and Melody, Gazell, Giyer Fistanini, D-Jamellas Delight, Mount Arrat, Kefif Mood, Tarabyoom Holiday, Kadife
Udi Joseph Kouyoumjian Orchestra featuring Fred Elias & his Ensemble with Esber Koprucu on Kanun: Beautiful Belly--Music for Listening & Dancing; Federated FR-1000; 1975; sealed with booklet S $75 -- one of the best, rare, pan-Mid-East music LPs featuring the great Fred Elias Ensemble (of Massachusetts) with Esber Koprucu on kanun; impeccable standards of musicianship and an ideal program for belly dancers; features great organ too, as with many of the best imports of the period (this is serious collector fare); Dance of the Bedouins (dance routine in 3 parts), Askimla Oynama, Uskadara, Banat il Mookala, Hijaz Taksim, Dance of the Pharoahs (dance routine in 4 parts), Hava Nagila, Acem Asiram Taksim
Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak: Strictly Belly Dancing series -- While digital reissues of some kind are available, only the LPs give you all the original tunes in their original release order (the CDs really are unrecognizable!). These belly-dance classics feature the most polished works by Kochak, Hakki Obadia, and Fred Elias and are mandatory for dancers and fans of belly-dance LPs. Featured are Middle-Eastern organ (Farfissa, played like an exotic Moog) and full routines as well as shorter pieces.
All are STEREO, in top shape, and just $15.
Strictly Belly Dancing (Ya Habibi #2) [The First Volume]; Scepter SPS-5114; 1973; E+/E+ S $15 -- the first is both a classic of the great Scepter/Mace period and ostensibly a sequel to the Decca LP "Ya Habibi"; Ma Elee (He Didn't Tell Me), Cleopatra, Yett May Ess (My Life, My Love), Chifti Telle, Balady, Ah Yah Zein, Kadife (Kashlimar), Wedding Party, Chutak Melody, Shifte Armny, Oud Fantasy
Strictly Belly Dancing The Second Volume; Scepter SPS-5118; 1975; N/N shrink S $15 (or E/N- S $15) -- Full Dance Routine: Eddie Kochak "Ameraba" (9 tracks: Leila, The Sensual Chifti, Medium-Fast, Slow Chiftis with Takseems, Dirbakee Solos, Oud Solos, Sheesh-Kabob, Slow->Fast Balady, Toota); Hawil Ya Ghanam, Ya-Bul-Ayoun-Il-Sood, Sel-Im-Alay, Ya-Mali-Sham, Habeebe "Afeefee"
Strictly Belly Dancing The Third Volume; Scepter SPS-5128; 1976; N/E+ shrink S $15 -- Medley--Medium Tempos, Rumba Bolero, Balady, 4/4 Medley w/Drums, Slow Chifti--Floor & Veil Work, Chifti (faster), Floor Work (no tempo), Slow->Fast Balady, Medium Tempos w/Drums, Chiftitellis--4/4 Tempos, Fast Exciting Medley (Good Feeling & Helaway), Easy Flowing Kashlimar, 4/4 Tempos-Balady-Finale
Strictly Belly Dancing The Fifth Volume; Ameraba AM-2502; 1977; E+/E+ S $15 -- Ramza, Selma, Nazira, Najla, Afifi, Drum Khalleel, Amina, Abla, Slow Kashlimar Mlebbas, Kashlimar Anwar, Didi, Ill Hilween, Asallia, Mazin Hamdan--Oud Taksimia (improvisation), Hanna Drumzilzia (drum solos)
Strictly Belly Dancing The Sixth Volume; Ameraba AM-2502; 1977; E-/N S $15 warped but tracks/plays fine; rare! -- Velerie, Nila, Jajouka, Phaedra Pharonica, Mijwiz, Bahijah, Halima, Naima, Elena, Derwish il Brahim, Sudani, Mish Mish, Zeyna, Rhythm Patterns with Percussion, Shifti-Shifti
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