Staiffi et ses Mustafa's Mustafa EP (Disques Vogue, 1960)
Pure kitsch cut with total exploitation. It's 1960 and Middle Eastern music in the form of Belly Dance is all the craze in Europe (and America); but it is not alone in exotic appeal. Latin music is hot. Everything from rhumba to the cha cha cha is being pressed on to records, even if the tunes don't even remotely resemble the music styles. So here you have Staiffi, who might or might not be Middle Eastern, combining "Oriental" music of the Mid East with the Cha Cha Cha of Latin America and Rock & Roll of North America...kinda. His version of the traditional "Mustafa" has a bit of Latin in it...I think. On "Le Ana Sentimental" he incorporates rock & roll in his "Oriental", so so the credits say. Actually, "Le Ana Sentimental" sounds more authentically Middle Eastern than any track on this four song EP. The best thing about this one is the sleeve. A blond Euro woman in an evening dress and heels, holds a veil to her face. Her hands look clenched behind her head and her eyes are penetratingly psychotic. She is sitting in what looks to be a tent. Peeking into the tent is a burro's head, or at least a wood carving of a burro's head. Next to her is a bag full of straw. Yow!