Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia: Devil’s Tale

Here’s an album that mixes the frenetic brass of Balkan folk music with gypsy jazz guitar a la the Hot Club of France. Guitarist/banjoist/bassist Adrian Raso teams up the wildly exciting brass/horn and drum team of Fanfare Cirocarlia for what could have been a Neopolitan traffic jam but instead turns out into a festive caravan carnival. Yes, there are some hyperactive and kinetic tunes such as “Urn St. Tavern” that sounds like trumpets and tubas ricocheting off the walls, but most to the time you get some wonderfully fragrant Reinhardtish swing as on “C’est La Vie” “DJango” and “Bireli’s Waltz”. Some wonderful Bohemia pops up with Florin Ionita’s accordion on “Charlatan’s Waltz” while drums, drums and more drums careen here and there on “Spiritissimo.” As for Raso, he’s got the gypsy blood and makes his guitar sing like a midnight crooner. This is my kind of party, and bring the lampshade for your head!

Asphalt Tango Records

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