Gypsy Caravan – Music In and Inspired by the film – with Taraf de Haidouks, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Maharaja, Antonio el Pipa Flamenco Co., Esma Redzepova – World Village/Harmonia mundi

by | Jul 16, 2007 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Gypsy Caravan – Music In and Inspired by the film – with Taraf de Haidouks, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Maharaja, Antonio el Pipa Flamenco Co., Esma Redzepova – World Village/Harmonia mundi 468070, 72 minutes ****:

This is a fascinating world tour of world music, demonstrating that there are many different types of gypsy music – not just one.  But as exciting as the CD is, you should really see the film connected with it – an amazing and inspiring musical concert film with performances outdoors, in gypsy camps and various locations.  The Maharaja group of Indian musicians is included because all Rom people are thought to have originated in Northern India about a thousand years ago. There’s even some Rajasthani Rap, which is a kick and half. (The Roma were originally thought to have come from Egypt – and were called “gyptians.”)

There are several flamenco selections, but my favorite group was probably Fanfare Ciocarlia – an 11-man Romanian brass band who play at an absolutely crazy speed and combine Romanian, Gypsy, klezmer and Turkish elements in their music.  Their four CDs have been so successful they have brought their backward village electricity, a new road and a new church.  Much of the music was recorded outdoors but the sonics are fine.

There are extensive notes about the Roma and their music, plus the effort to fight the widespread prejudice against them. A letter from Johnny Depp – who played a Roma character in the film The Man Who Cried – to a young Roma boy is very touching. There are 23 tracks in the album, with descriptions of each one – a real world music ear-opener.

 – John Henry

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