Record of the day: Taraf de Haïdouks, "Band of Gypsies"

Record of the day: Taraf de Haïdouks, “Band of Gypsies”

Taraf de Haidouks
Band of Gypsies (Cd Crammed Discs Craw 24)

The humor revealed right from the album title (which jokes with Jimi Hendrix) is found in every minute of this album. Welcome to the crazy and fascinating world of the Taraf de Haïdouks, a nomadic group that unites thirty-year-olds and eighty-year-olds and who, after being discovered by Johnny Depp on the set of the film “The Man Who Cried”, embarked on a career with dazzling success that drove the world crazy. audiences throughout Europe (and beyond) with his formidable recipe based on popular music from Transylvania.

An authentic show on stage, Taraf manage to involve listeners from the first minute, and undoubtedly the dimension to appreciate them best is that of the concert. This album was recorded live in 2000 in Bucharest
in front of an enthusiastic crowd, which seems to transmit even more energy to the musicians; right from the initials “A la Turk” and “Dance of the Firemen” the festive atmosphere is lit.

They are songs composed by the group but full of elements handed down by oral tradition through the generations, be they furious dances in odd times that make your head spin or ballads dripping with melancholy from every single note, and are interpreted by these wandering musicians (whose collective name pays homage to the bandits who roamed Romania
during feudalism) with an incredible participation.
Violins, flutes, clarinets, accordions, double bass and cimbalom seem to be charged with atomic energy in contact with this musical material, pushing on the accelerator with dizzying virtuosity that never excludes a singability inflamed by nostalgia.

Very ancient music (doina, taxim, maquam) is imbued with contagious, feverish energy, despite the use of an exclusively acoustic instrumental ensemble; Taraf knows no fatigue, they are capable of playing for hours without stopping, without allowing the tension to drop for a single minute, transforming each of their performances into…
an unmissable event for anyone who loves good music.

Wonderful voices, fiery instrumental interventions, irresistible rhythmic accelerandi travel side by side with total
overall compactness. If you want to have fun and reflect at the same time, this is certainly the album for you, a repository of a culture that is as ancient as it is current and surprising.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.