Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Recorded in New York but featuring musicians of Middle Eastern and European origins well versed in Gypsy music, this is a lively get-together of great musicians and great music. Mostly acoustic in nature and featuring ud, ... more »
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Recorded in New York but featuring musicians of Middle Eastern and European origins well versed in Gypsy music, this is a lively get-together of great musicians and great music. Mostly acoustic in nature and featuring ud, zurna, ney, kanun, saxophone, violin, guitar, bass, and percussion, these 12 tracks romp through 10 tunes, many with vocals, that lovingly alloy the base metals of several Gypsy cultures. With headliners like Richard A. Hagopian and the acclaimed Omar Faruk Tekbilek, the standard and integrity is high, and Gypsy Fire should appeal to all those who like their Gypsy music unadulterated by crossover aspirations or modern electronics. This folksy approach does not affect the rollicking energy at all, however, and several of these cuts will be more than enough to clear the tables out of the way. Gypsy music is alive and well in New York after all. --Derek Rath
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A magical gathering
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 04/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Right now you are reading reviews for one of my very favorite recordings. This is a "Super Group" in the most real sense of the phrase. Not in that ego-fest, masturbatory rock&roll overhyped guitar-solo after overhyped guitar-solo sort of supergroup way, though. What you have here is a gathering of musical giants who give everything towards the good of the group, towards the good of the overall sound.Rhythmically this cd is a dream. Melodically it's just as good. Richard Hagopian (oud), Omar Faruk Tekbilek (ney and zurna), and Yuri Yunakov (alto saxophone) are probably the most well-known musicians here (and they are all brilliant, each providing many highlights throughout this cd), but I want to make special mention here of Harold Hagopian (violin) who may be overlooked in the shadow of his father, Richard. I first got turned onto the Hagopians from the Armenian Music Through The Ages cd, again under Richards name, but his son Harold is a stunning violinist. This isn't one of those "Oh my mom and/or dad is famous so I got lucky and have a career because of them" situations. Harold is a flat-out brilliant violinist. Aside from just being fantastic music, I also love the spirit of this cd. This is such joyful, jubilant music. All brought about because some people of different backgrounds and ethnicities realize that diversity and "the whole" can reap amazing rewards. You will never ever get depressed from listening to this cd. I too am puzzled by the earlier "too authentic" comment. "Too authentic" doesn't even exist in my world. I fear this comment probably came from having a case of Ry Cooder-itis. You know, really bland guy with some fame decides to water a certain "ethnic music" down so that it is more popular and palatable to the American mainstream. This cd is one of those perfect examples of The Anti-Ry Cooder syndrome. I do know that I listen to alot of recordings that would not appeal to many people. That's fine. This cd though, this is one of those things that I think a vast number of people would love if they were exposed to it. If you're on the fence about whether or not to get it, just buy it. I think your chances of not enjoying it are very slim."
Ali S. ERDOGAN | MERSIN Turkey | 06/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd is a masterpiece of ethnic music..First of all we have Richard Hagopian here..He is Armenian and he plays the lute here.He has a very diffrent and nice voice..He speaks Turkish in Armenian accent which is very cool in my opinon.Hagopian is a master on Turkish and Armenian folks songs.His repertoire is very large.
Second we have Omer Faruk Tekbilek here..He plays the zurna..
We also have Bulgarian saxophonist Yuri Yunakov in the album..He almost makes his saxophone sing!! in the last track "Siseler".In turksih folk songs clarinet is usually played..I would also expect to hear clarinet in this cd but instead of it Yunakov plays the saxophone but it is ok because saxophone is also a good choice and nice match here.
In fact this cd is a pack of famous musicians..Whom else do we have?Also percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan and musician Ara Dinkjian.He plays the guitar in this album.Dinkjian is also the founder of Night Ark.. In my eyes the musicianship is almost too good to be true in this album..The instruments are played in such a good and exact,precise style; the way they had to be in this kind of music.The recording quality is exceptional as well.In fact when this cd was first released in 1995 it was a bestseller in world music sales for a long time.I accept that as a very normal fact because it is almost impossible to create a bad album with so many talented musicians together..
This cd is a real blend of turkish,armenian,greek and arabic music in my eyes..Any turk,armenian ,greek or arabic person would like the tunes here..The reality is that this kind of music is real ISTANBUL music..I call Istanbul music because once all of those mationalities used to live in Istanbul.Maybe this cd is a testament to those old good days.At least I feel so ..
This album is by Traditional Crossroads which is a great recording company trying to protect the music of Ottoman Empire.They also have other records by Hagopian in their cd catalogue.I would strongly recommend all Hagopian albums under the Traditional Crossroads label.They have recently released new albums in which Hagopian performs(Kef Time Detroit and Kef Time Hartford ).Also Kef Time is a legendary album.I feel grateful to Crossroads for getting these albums out."
Hearing the old tunes with new ears
Nadira Jamal of the Improvisation T | 01/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're involved in belly dancing -- whether as a performer or just an appreciative audience -- many of these tunes will be familiar to the point of banality: they're the old staples, like "Rompi Rompi," that dancers have been undulating to for the past half-century. But on this album they're transformed and refreshed by an outstanding group of musicians from various Middle Eastern countries (mostly Turkish and Armenian). The musicians' skill, energy, and heartfelt appreciation of the music result in an album that's listenable and danceable all the way through.
I'm a belly dance student, and had heard selections from this album numerous times in class and at performances before I finally purchased it. I put it on the CD player and sat down to read ... but after the first few tracks I quit reading, and by the last three I was improvising dances all over my living room. It really IS that good."