Thursday, March 24, 2011

CD Review: Forty Thieves Orkestar's 'Last Band Standing'

Last Band Standing

The sounds of Eastern Europe are alive and well in the repertoire of the U.K.-based Forty Thieves Orkestar. In fact, Gypsy, Balkan brass, Klezmer, and a bit of street-beat music infiltrate the songs on Last Band Standing. The traditional instrumentation and modern beats provide an infectious and danceable sound throughout. The accordion, oud, violin, trumpet, tuba, cymbalom, clarinet, melodica, and electronic effects provide most of the musical accompaniment. The instrumental "Giza Stomp" is a classic tune of a definite Klezmer influence, as well as "Thaj Lel Europa" and "Belboeli," or the slightly jazz-focused "Uskudar". Whatever the influence or style, the Forty Thieves Orkestar is a transcontinental journey with enough melodies and rhythms to keep one dancing long into the morning hours. A total of ten tracks at just over forty-minutes provides a relatively short introduction to the music, but it is diverse and varied enough to keep one's attention long after the music stops. ~ Matthew Forss

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