Friday, May 30, 2014

Ferenc, Gypsy Dream

For those who respond to the Gypsy jazz-Gypsy music revival there is another good one today. Gypsy Dream (Mesa/Blue Moon 2352) features the violin of Ferenc Illenyi, who has the proper passion and liquid approach of the style down very well, very expressively.

He is out front in a small ensemble that owes something to the Reinhardt-Grappelli Hot Club sound. Erich Avinger does some quasi-Django guitar in a nice way and the addition of Andrew Leinhard on piano gives the music a slightly different emphasis. There are various guests throughout the program, with Chris Maresh a constant on acoustic bass.

This is especially a showcase for Ferenc, who has a beautiful sound and a classical-plus-improvisatory prowess. The music varies between Django favorites, Gypsy fusion and the old-style Gypsy sound.

It is quite well done. If you appreciate the Gypsy revival but don't want to stay too firmly in the Hot Club sound, this one ranges much more widely. And you don't feel like you are listening to rehashed Reinhardt-Grappelli as much as experiencing another take on the tradition.

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