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Phari Mamo

Ando Drom (which means "on the road" in the Romany language) is the name of a foundation that carries out workshops in music, theatre and art for young people and nurtures the culture of the Hungarian gypsies in close collaboration with the Rom parliament. A decade ago, one of Hungary´s finest ensembles emerged from this vast pool of talent. Apart from a few festivals in Europe, where they invariably received standing ovations, Ando Drom have made a point of performing only for the gypsy community. This CD marks their first major international performance. Beyond the world of the hackneyed coffeehouse cliché, these recordings made at the renowned TomTom Studios in Budapest include soulful ballads, romantic suites and exciting festive songs. A Hungarian virtuoso violinist was invited and friends from the Paris-based group Bratsch (Bruno Girard on violin, Francois Castiello on accordion) were flown in specially. The focal point of this album is the superb voice of the diminutive Mitsou - a real discovery. As a complement to the vocal acrobatics of the group whose music is firmly anchored in the tradition of the travelling gypsies, her performance is truly dazzling. Apart from violins and accordions, guitars and mandolins, traditional percussion instruments include milk cans, talking drums, earthenware pots and spoons. The profoundly emotive tracks on "Phari Mamo" tell of the pain of separation, the yearning of love and the problems of daily gypsy life. This musical gem comes with a detailed, informative and lavishly illustrated booklet.

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