Somos Gitanos

COMPOSERS: The Gipsy Kings
LABELS: Sony
PERFORMER: The Gipsy Kings
CATALOGUE NO: 5034652

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 The GIPSY KINGS have been around for decades, originally formed in the south of France before the idea of ‘world music’ existed. So it’s about as authentic as early music in the age of Respighi and Hamilton Harty, and about as entertaining, too, keeping up a frantic pace for almost every song, fronted by throaty Andalucian-style vocals and guitars backed up by energetic clapping.

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An oud and a flute lend a Moorish touch to one number, and then they are off again. An unexpected encore, featuring a boys’ choir from Harlem, is Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ in the fastest reggae performance you ever heard. For the collector who has everything, an electric kantele should be the answer. Outside Finland the national instrument is more familiar from myths and legends, often read while studying Sibelius, than from its sound.