World of Gypsies, Vol. 3

Various Artists

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World of Gypsies, Vol. 3 Review

by Adam Greenberg

The third volume in ARC's series of gypsy music, this one focuses on gypsy swing, though it then stretches both components of that term along the way. The album opens up with Fanfare Ciocarlia, a Romanian band that can pump out very high-tempo thick grooves despite using some heavy brass in the ensemble. Kanizsa Csillagai introduces more strings, coming a little closer to the Reinhardt end of gypsy swing. Talisman move fully into the genre, adding an accordion for good measure. Coming directly from the Django lineage, Bawo Reinhardt leads I Gitanos through some swing, heavily influenced by Spanish sounds, and with smooth jazz touches. The gypsy is there, but the swing is lost a bit in favor of new ideas. A troupe of Gnawa performers stretch the gypsy end of the label, but also the swing. They've got the trademark thump and groove of Gnawa performances, but it's certainly not string jazz. Trumpeter Boban Markovic puts out a more somber number that intersperses traditional gypsy movements with almost Miles Davis-esque passages. Finishing out the album is a series of more properly gypsy swing numbers from Titi Winterstein, Hans'Che Weiss (Winterstein's old boss), Joby Iliev, and temporary Cream player Bireli Lagrene. It's a solid album, with some exceptional work (especially in the first half). The premise of gypsy swing isn't held up terribly strongly, but regardless of that, the varied gypsy elements present are worth hearing.

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