The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies (World Music Network, 2008)
Before you even lay a finger on the play button on The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies out on World Music Network you’ll need move the furniture back and roll up the carpet because this Rough Guide is a delirious ride run amok. Rough Guide guy Dan Rosenberg has corralled twenty spectacular tracks of Romania’s Roma ‘must haves’ into one CD. Juxtaposing internationally renowned performers with local stars from the Romanian Gypsy music scene, The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies has the power to rouse the passions of the most staid listener.
Opening with the impassioned vocals and vibrant brass of ‘The Roma All-Stars of Clejani,’ or better known as Taraf De Haïdouks, and their version of “Parlapapup (Sa Va Spun De Un Bautor),” this Rough Guide sizzles with blood pounding, seductive energy. It only gets better with rhythmic whirlwind created by famed brass band and BBC World Music Award winners Fanfare Ciocărlia’s “Alili,” the cimbalom extravaganza “Cantec Si Breaza Ca La Fantanele” by Toni Iordache and the sultry clarinet on “Mite, Mite” by Mielu Bibescu.
The wildly original “Taraf” by Shukar Collective is masterminded by DJ Vasile and Dreamdoktor and their sampled version of an original Shukar ensemble’s usari music. Slickly modern and vibrantly clever, “Taraf” blazes a new path for Romanian Gypsy music. Listeners get brief respites from the dizzyingly frenetic tunes by way of the silky vocals of ‘The Billie Holliday of the East’ Romica Puceanu’s “Spune, Maiculita Spune” or the equally plumy versions of “Doamne Da-Mi Putere” by Cornelia Catanga and “Pe Drumul De La Buzau” by Gabi Lunca.
Other treasures on the CD include Fanfare Ciocărlia’s “Kan Marau La” with featured vocals by Dan Armeanca, violinist Florea Cioaca’s “Mierlita Cind E Bolnava” and accordionist extraordinare Marcel Budala’s “Hora Rudarenilor.”
The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies will stir the blood, spark the passions and have you dancing on the table in no time.
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