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

ELSEWHERE'S FAMOUS WOMAD QUESTIONNAIRE: Kris Drever of Lau (Scotland)

ELSEWHERE'S FAMOUS WOMAD QUESTIONNAIRE: Kris Drever of Lau (Scotland)

With some slight variations on our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire to suit the world and worldly musicians playing at this year's Womad (details below), we now offer Elsewhere's Famous Womad... > Read more

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan: Sur Sangeet (Kanaga)

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan: Sur Sangeet (Kanaga)

At any Womad one of the most transcendental and transporting musical events is when singers of the Sufi qawwali tradition appear. Usually fronting a large group of supportive singers and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

George Formby: When I'm Cleaning Windows (1936)

George Formby: When I'm Cleaning Windows (1936)

In his later years George Harrison developed an affection for the ukulele, and one of its greatest practitioners, English music hall comedian, singer and actor George Formby. Right at the end... > Read more

SPOTIFY'S HQ IN SWEDEN: The quiet revolution

SPOTIFY'S HQ IN SWEDEN: The quiet revolution

The ambience of the Stockholm headquarters of Spotify – the world's fastest growing online music streaming service – isn't what you might expect. No skateboard-riding computer nerds... > Read more