BGKO is a stable band that regularly performs in Barcelona and all Europe. But more than that, it’s an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guests appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Nevertheless, the interaction became mutual and the city became a melting pot with so many different styles and cultures to embrace, so many ears to play for, and so many dancing feet to move.
“Del Ebro al Danubio” consists of 12 striking soundscapes that serve as a bridge between different cultures that BGKO was inspired by: Romanian, Russian and Serbian gypsy songs; purifying Hungarian, Transylvanian, Klezmer and Albanian dances; contemplative melodies of Lebanese Arabic-Catalan tradition, Jewish and Bosnian sevdah.
Tomas Breton's La Dolores from 1895–in which all the male characters love the heroine, Dolores, who works in an inn–is an opera espagnola: a full-blown opera, not a zarzuela, and its plot, characters, mood, and music could belong to no other country but Spain. Breton's musical idiom is late romantic, and he's a fine composer. The opera's acts build with good intensity, and throughout he keeps the local flavor alive with dances and rhythms that are peculiarly Spanish.
Barcelona Nights: The Best of Ottmar Liebert, Vol. 1 gathers the nouveau flamenco guitarist's early career highlights, including the title track and "Heart Still/Beating," both from his 1990 debut Nouveau Flamenco, as well as Borrasca's title track and "Dancing Under the Moon."
This long-awaited third CD by the legendary New Klezmer Trio is pure pleasure. Their first two CDs, released in 1990 and 1995 respectively have long been Tzadik favorites, combining elements of jazz and improvisation with the Jewish tradition in ways both thoughtful and surprising. This is a masterful new recording by one of the classic bands in the New Jewish Renaissance. Naftule Brandwein via Jimmy Giuffre.
After ten years of playing in the streets, at weddings, and in restaurants, the Gipsy Kings were swept away in a feast of commercial and critical success in the late '80s. By the late '90s, they had sold over 15 million albums worldwide and become one of the best-selling all-Spanish language acts in U.S. history. Their Greatest Hits collection, released in 1998, aptly reflects the time-perfected technique and soulful delivery that allowed them to transcend ethnic and age differences as few bands have. The introductory sequence of songs simply explodes out of the blocks. If consecutive hip-shakers "Djobi, Djoba," "Baila Me," "Bamboleo," "Pida Me La," "Bem, Bem, Maria," and "Volare" don't have you at least tapping your feet, someone ought to take your pulse…
Mula is blessed with superb poise and wonderful assurance together with a tremendous ability to emotionally affect the listener.
Lyric-coloratura soprano Inva Mula has released an alluring recital of French and Italian arias for the Virgin Classics label. ‘Courtesan’ might be a more appropriate title for the disc as by my reckoning four of the heroine roles operate in that profession.
– Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International