Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Balkan Gypsy Tango

If you haven't heard the Earth Wheel Fire Band from Serbia, you're missing some really great music. The band was recognized recently by the pioneers of World Music distribution, Putumayo, with the inclusion of the band's tune Gypsy Tango on the company's recent release "Tango Around the World." Thanks to Jefferson Public Radio for playing the tune this morning, and my partner for having the taste to get me up from the keyboard to listen. The band has two disks of their own, which can be found in Circuit City's online catalogue or on the overstock.com site. Why should you care?

Serbia is known for its brass and especially its trumpet music. Pair one of the country's premier trumpet players with Olah Vintze's renowned band from the Vojvodina region of northern Serbia and you've got all the ingredients for musical magic. The sweet sound of Gypsy guitar, the gravel-like passion of a strong Gypsy voice (not unlike the Flamenco singers of Spain) and the soul of the Balkan Roma. Ahh, bliss.

I confess a fascination for the Roma people, their unusual language, culture and history. Gypsies, as is now well documented and known, started out in the Indian state of Rajastan - then migrated to virtually all parts of the Middle East and Europe. Read my post about Gypsy Music here, then head over to the band's web site (in Serbo-Croatian) and download a free tune. You may also want to check out the band's profile page on MySpace. You won't be sorry.

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