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Band of Gypsies

Band of Gypsies cover art

Track Listing

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1Dance of the Firemen1:32
2A la Turk6:08
3Sorrow, Only My Sorrow4:07
4The Return of the Magic Horses5:01
5A Gypsy Had a House3:45
6A Stork Crosses the Danube6:36
7Absinth I Drink You, Absinth I Eat You5:02
8Cacurica Dances1:32
10Green Leaf, Clover Leaf3:57
11I'm a Gambling Man6:45
12Little Buds4:59
13Bride in a Red Dress4:37
14Back to Clejani2:56

About this Album

In 2001, Taraf de Haïdouks presented its first all-new album for Nonesuch Records with Band of Gypsies, a collection of previously unrecorded songs taped during three electrifying special concerts in Bucharest, Romania, at the end of 2000. A genuine village band from the small Romanian town of Clejani, Taraf is made up of a dozen instrumentalists and singers ranging in age from 20 to 78. For the occasion of the concerts recorded for Band of Gypsies, the band was joined by guest musicians from Bulgaria and Turkey as well as the Kocani Orkestar Brass Band from Macedonia.

Taraf de Haïdouks was discovered in 1990 by Belgian music fans Stepháne Karo and Michel Winter, who organized several concerts for the group in Belgium and introduced them to the European record label Crammed Discs, with whom the group signed shortly thereafter. Their US recording debut followed nine years later with their 1999 self-titled Nonesuch debut, compiling the best of three previous European releases and followed by a multi-artist “Gypsy Caravan” tour of the US. In 2001, Taraf embarked on their first-ever solo tour of the US, playing to sold-out halls in two dozen US cities. They shared the stage at Stanford in California with Kronos Quartet, with whom they are featured on the soundtrack to the Sally Potter film The Man Who Cried.

Band of Gypsies is fresh evidence of Taraf de Haïdouks' unique mix of local styles and flavors that represent the richness of the Romanian folk music tradition, marked by medieval ballads, Turkish-flavored dance tunes from the Balkans, and characteristic vocal inflections reminiscent of the Gypsy people’s origins in the Indian sub-continent.


Neculae Neacsu, vocals, violin (1, 3, 8, 12, 14)
Ilie Iorga, vocals (3, 12)
Dumitru Baicu “Cacurica,” vocals, small cymbalum (1, 3, 7, 8, 14)
Paul Giuclea “Pasalan,” vocals, vioin (3, 10, 12)
Marin P. Manole, vocals, accordion (3, 8, 10, 12)
Gheorghe Falcaru, flute (4, 11, 12)
Anghel Gheorghe “Caliu,” violin (2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11-13)
Constantin Lautaru “Costica Boieru,” violin, vocals (2, 4-6, 9-13)
Ionel Manole “Ionitsa,” accordion, vocals (1-7, 9, 11-14)
Marin Manole “Marius,” accordion (2, 4, 9, 11-13)
Ion Tanase “Ionica,” small and large cymbalums (2, 3, 8-13)
Viorel Vlad, double bass (1-14)
Cristinel Turturica, large cymbalum (2, 4-7, 9, 11-13)

Guest Artists:
Flip Simeonov, clarinet (2, 6, 9, 13)
Tarik Tuysuzoglu, darbuka (2, 6, 9, 13)
Roger Manole, vocals (9)
Koçani Orkestar Gypsy Brass Band (2, 9, 13): Ismail Saliev, saxophone; Mendu Saliev, baritone tuba; Turan Gaberov, trumpet; Esat Saliev, baritone tuba; Saban Jasarov, tapan (percussion); Ismail Jasarov, bass tuba; Redzai Durmisev, baritone tuba; Deladin Demirov, clarinet; Ajilu Azizov, vocals; Zlate Nikolov, accordion


Produced by Vincent Kenis and Stéphane Karo
Recorded in Bucharest at Sala Arcub Hall, Institut Français de Bucarest and Migas Real Studio
Track 12 recorded at Studio La Buissonne (France)
Live sound: Gérald Fenerberg
Mixed at Dada, Igloo, and AAAXL studios, Brussels
Engineered and mixed by Vincent Kenis, in collaboration with Gérald Fenerberg, David Minjouw, Daniel Léon, and Marius Macedon
Mastered by Vincent Kernis and Paul van der Jonckheyd at Foon, Belgium

All songs composed by Sapo Perapaskero, except 9, words and music by Gabi Voicila
Musical direction: Stéphane Karo, Ionitsa Manole, and Michael Winter
Arrangements on track 2, 6, 9, 13: Ionitsa Manole

Design by John Gall
Photography: Masataka Ishida

Executive Producers: Hanna Gorjaczkowska (Crammed), Michael Winter, and Stéphane Karo (Divano)


This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

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