Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Laura Riz: Yo me Quedo en Sevilla (I Will Stay in Sevilla)
Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Look, I have absoluely no doubt that singer Riz -- who was previously a fashion choreographer and director who sang light jazz and bossa nova -- makes music as authentically "Gypsy" as Enya makes authentically "Irish" music.

And she doesn't help her case by the dreadfully cheap cover on this album, nor by liner notes in which she talks about her "research" into Gypsy culture which confirmed it came from Vedic culture in the Indus Valley.

But . . . she has certainly played and sung Gypsy music for years (my guess is pop-Gypsy in clubs rather than cornfields) and this album has a kind of exotic and gutteral persuasiveness, and of course is saturated in high emotions and swooning melodies.

The songs are drawn from Hungarian, Russian and Czech sources, but also from Seville and Greece.

Garth Cartwright who wrote the definitive travel/musicology book about this culture Princes Amongst Men would doubtless scoff at this album -- and perhaps rightly so. But that doesn't change its genuine appeal.

Take it for what it is -- Gypsy music polished up -- and it is actually quite something.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Thione Seck; Orientissime (Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Thione Seck; Orientissime (Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

There are some who think that "world music" is corrupted by outside influences, and that the folk musicians of various parts of the globe should be time-locked so as to retain some degree... > Read more

Karim Baggili with Le Trio Joubran: Kali City (homerecords)

Karim Baggili with Le Trio Joubran: Kali City (homerecords)

This is very much a game of two halves for the self-taught guitarist Karim Baggili who is Belgian-born and of Jordanian background. And ironically it is the material with the superb... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Chris Thompson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson was one of the disappearing figures in the New Zealand folk scene who toured with Julie Felix, counted among his peers the likes of Bert Jansch and Davy Graham while he was in the... > Read more

Savages: Adore Life (Matador)

Savages: Adore Life (Matador)

At this distance it was easy to be sceptical about the British music press embracing Savages and their album-cum-manifesto Silence Yourself three years ago. The all-women quartet —... > Read more