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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

Various Artists

By Robert Kaye
Published January 16, 2008

Gypsy Caravan
World Village

This CD is the dynamic soundtrack to the acclaimed film Gypsy Caravan. The centuries-long passage of the Roma (a.k.a. gypsies) across the Middle East, Asia and Europe has created an incredibly varied, vibrant musical diaspora, represented by these artists, among others. Taraf de Haïdouks, Antonio el Pipa’s Flamenco Company, and Adrian Sical are just some of the performers included on this 23-track goldmine. Blustering brass ensemble tunes like “Nakalavishe,” performed by Redzepova and Fanfare Ciocarlia, segue into more pensive, Indo/Arabic chants, like Maharaja’s “Kimero.” Some of the songs barely reach the half-minute mark, alas. “Smoking Bass” features TdF’s Vlad Viorel briefly jamming on an upright bass, while “Spoons” captures some great tabletop percussion. The musical instrumentation, stylization, and presentation are ample evidence of the Roma peoples’ expansive musical expression. From ancient Hindustani storytelling, to Flamenco tangos, toBalkan Horos, the CD is a brilliant, beautifully packaged compilation deserving widespread attention.