Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

Avi Avital, mandolin – Between Worlds [TrackList follows] – DGG
Grand Fatilla – Global Shuffle [TrackList follows] – Grand Fatilla Records

Two interesting world music discs featuring the mandolin.

Published on August 4, 2014

Avi Avital, mandolin – Between Worlds [TrackList follows] – DGG</br> Grand Fatilla – Global Shuffle [TrackList follows] – Grand Fatilla Records

Avi Avital, mandolin – Between Worlds [TrackList follows] – DGG B0019758-02, 60:37 ****:

Grand Fatilla – Global Shuffle [TrackList follows] – Grand Fatilla Records ****:

(Avi Avital, mandolin; Richard Gialliano, accordion; Catrin Finch, harp; Riora Fiedman, clarinet; Itamar Doari, percussion)

(Roberto Cassan, accordion; Matt Glover, electric mandolin; Fabio Pirozzolo, percussion & voice; Mike Rivard, doublebass & sintir; Guests: Claudio Ragazzi, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar & cuatro puertorriqueno; Christian Cassan, additional percussion on some tracks)

Avi Avital is an amazing virtuoso of the mandolin. In this CD he has taken classical composers such as Bartok, Falla, Bloch, and Piazzolla and performed some of their music which is built on the themes of folk music, as well as traditional Welsh, Jewish, Bulgarian and other folk music, and brought it all into a globe-circling program of delightful music that is truly between worlds.

Assisted by such virtuosos on their own instruments as Richard Galliano and Giora Feidman, the ensemble creates a wonderful feeling of world music from different areas and time periods. They are passionate about everything they play and that comes across in this most listenable CD. This album has been very popular at several radio stations who specialize in classical music. The fact that a major label like Universal—which has cut loose all sorts of symphony orchestras and leading classical ensembles—has taken it over shows that they believe it will sell well, and I’m sure it will.

TrackList:

1. Tsintsadze: Miniatures Sachidao
2. Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances 1. Joc cu bata (Stick Dance)
3. Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances 2. Braul (Sash Dance)
4. Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances 3. Pe loc (In One Spot)
5. Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances 4. Buciumeana (Dance of Bucium)
6. Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances 5. Poarga Romaneasca (Romanian Polka)
7. Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances 6. Marun el (Fast Dance)
8. Traditional Bulgarian: Bucimis
9. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas brasileiras no. 5 Aria (Cantilena)
10. Piazzolla: Maria de Buenos Aries Fuga y misterio
11. De Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas 1. El pano moruno
12. De Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas 2. Seguidilla murciana
13. De Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas 3. Asturiana
14. De Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas 4. Jota
15. De Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas 5. Nana
16. De Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas 6. Cancion
17. De Falla: Siete canciones populares españolas 7. Polo
18. Monti: Csardas
19. Tsintsadze: Miniatures Shepherds Dance
20. Tsintsadze: Miniatures Song
21. Tsintsadze: Miniatures Dance Tune
22. Bloch: Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Chasidic Life Nigun
23. Chaim: Freilach Ron
24. Traditional Welsh: Hen Ferchetan

The Grand Fatilla CD was made possible by a Kickstarter effort. They wanted $1800 for making the album, $1600 for mixing and mastering, $600 for printing the CD and $2000 for the cover art. They must have made it, because here is the album. The ensemble is based in Boston and has been delighting audiences for over six years. They recorded this CD in an old church turned recording studio in West Springfield, MA.

The raucous enthusiasm and varied ethnic styles of the group made them a big hit in the Boston area. Whether they are playing tangos, Italian tarantellas, Turkish Sufi songs, Irish reels, Moroccan trance or Bulgarian dance music, they emphasize the improvisational interplay of their ensemble and their playful spontaneity. Their idea is to pay homage to the idea that it is really One World that we all live in, and the diverse music of different cultures can enrich all of us. This is music with a good beat that transcends all musical boundaries.

Although there are only two tracks of strictly Bulgarian music here, many of the others have a strong music of the Balkans sound to them, at least to my ears. One of them has a most challenging 22/16 meter. The track “Milonga Para Lucia” is in the style of the Argentine countryside, and is also a tribute to a song by Italian singer-songwriter Paolo Conte. The waltz “Corrente” is named after a river that keeps flowing, and mixes French musette, Venezuelan joropo, heavy southern Italian and Brazilian tambourine-style playing.

TrackList:

Cigansko Oro, Five of Swords, Domenie, Alla Carpinese, Bebe, Sandansko Oro, Milonga para Lucia, Iasha, Fracanapa, Corrente, Southern Italian Medley, Little Church

—John Henry




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