Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Balkan Roots


Boban I Marko Balkan Brass Fest

Four fluegelhorns, four tenor horns, a helicon tuba and three drums -- "spinning," "snare" and "big" -- form the core of this Serbian Gypsy brass unit, which recalls both New Orleans jazz and early funk even though its tune stock is Middle Eastern and its beat not what we call swinging. Dizzy, lyrical, cacophonous, the Orkestar's best album passes singer-fluegelhornist Boban's baton to his young son Marko, a more modern-minded fluegelhorn virtuoso. Its drunken beauty epitomizes what's most lovable about the music of the Balkan Gypsies.

Rolling Stone, Jan. 25, 2007

Postscript Notes:

Included in an "Update: Gypsy Music" block titled "Balkan Roots: Beirut, "Borat" soundtrack -- and some actual Gypsy music"; the other reviews were: Ion Petre Stoican: Sounds From a Bygone Age, Vol. 1; Borat: Original Soundtrack; Beirut: Lon Gisland.