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Gili Garabdi

Fanfare Ciocarlia

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Album Review

With Gili Garabdi, Moldavia's Fanfare Ciocarlia offer an interesting premise — what if gypsy musicians had gone to America and helped invent jazz? Then they illustrate their point by brassy, jazzy takes on the "James Bond Theme" and Duke Ellington's "Caravan." Obviously, they're joking a little, but it does help show their range in exemplary fashion as the brassy-heavy lineup (ten, plus two percussionists). They can do the usual gypsy style with consummate ease, whipping their way around complex melodies at hyper-speed, But they're really at their best when they swing, which they do in wonderful style on "Alili," while "Ma Maren Ma" includes guest singer Jony Lliev on something that's as close as the Balkans comes to blues. Passionate and consistent, this is their best album to date.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Fanfare Ciocarlia is a brass band of Gypsy heritage that adeptly manages to straddle two very different worlds. After playing together as a unit for less than six years, the band's 11 members can perform joyously throughout the customary 30 hours that some of their traditional ceremonies can last, and equally as well on a concert stage half way around the world. On Saturday night band members could entertain wedding guests in Zece Prajini, their Gypsy village located in eastern Romania, and by Sunday...
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Gili Garabdi, Fanfare Ciocarlia
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