Monday, Jan. 9, 2012
New York Gypsy All Stars
Romantech (Traditional Crossroads)
At their best moments, the New York Gypsy All Stars bring the past into the present in a dialogue between tradition and change. Band leader Ismail Lumanovski is really a Gypsy (and a Julliard graduate); he joins heart and head in his clarinet playing and, as his Islamic-Slavic name suggests, is a good representative of the Gypsies' age-old role as the pollen of musical culture, wafting over borders from India through the Balkans. Little wonder that the All Stars' CD resonates with the harp tones of ancient Anatolia, lively klezmer clarinet and the sharp-stringed twang of Greece. The taut rhythm section anchors the sonic tour to rock, giving the band a contemporary, club-ready sound.