Putumayo - GYPSY CARAVAN (2001)

Call this the melodic side of the Romany diaspora, an easier companion than the Rough Guide to music of Balkan gipsys, which covered not only Central Europe but also the Indian roots and even British tradition of the "traveling people," as they're known. Gypsy Caravan concentrates its energy on the song element, which can range from the klezmer style of Romanyi Rota to the more folkish quality of Ando Drom. The influence of the Rom on Spanish music is explored in the flamenco of both Thierry Robin and Miguel Angel Cortes connecting the dots between cultures and emphasizing the influence of the this oft-persecuted people. Frequently life-affirming in its joy, but also capable of aching, lamenting sorrow, Gypsy Caravan shines a warm light on one facet of an ancient and complex culture, making for a strong introduction to some intoxicating music.

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