Cheikha Remitti, Les Racines Du Rai

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Les Racines Du Rai

Cheikha Remitti
This rai queen bemoans men, fate, sex and wine. But not too much.

Cheikha Rimitti, who died in May, 2006, at age 83, appears to have been born old and grown even older, a powerful woman who exuded joy and bitterness in equal measure. Though in her later years she re-emerged, recording powerful albums with the likes of Robert Fripp backing her up, Les Racines du Rai features some of her most powerful and evocative singing. The craggy roughness of her voice is in and of itself a warning: Live this sort of life, it says, and you might wind up like me, a gypsy, alone, at the mercy of men and fate and sex and wine. But it's said with a wink — there are, apparently, far worse fates.