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

Fela Ransome-Kuti: Lagos Baby 1963-69 (Southbound)

Fela Ransome-Kuti: Lagos Baby 1963-69 (Southbound)

Strange though it may seem today, I had to argue hard to write a Herald obituary for the great Afrobeat master Fela Anikulapo-Kuti when he died of Aids-related illnesses in 1997. Despite Peter... > Read more

Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express: Junun (Nonesuch/Warners)

Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express: Junun (Nonesuch/Warners)

In a cover which recalls the Seventies albums Shankar, Family and Friends and Music Festival From India (see below, both produced by George Harrison for his Dark Horse label) comes this exciting... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SESSIONS FOR ROBERT J, a doco by STEPHEN SCHIBLE

SESSIONS FOR ROBERT J, a doco by STEPHEN SCHIBLE

When Eric Clapton released his 2004 album Me and Mr Johnson – a tribute to Robert Johnson – it seemed rather belated. After all, from the time he was a teenager he'd been listening... > Read more

Trade . . .Me? A story of failed entrepreneurialism

Trade . . .Me? A story of failed entrepreneurialism

The new poster boy for entrepreneurs is 26-year old Canadian Kyle MacDonald: he’s the guy who traded a red paperclip for a fish-shaped pen, then traded that for a doorknob, that for a... > Read more