New Reviews: April 1, 2004

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

Earth Wheel Sky Band
Waltz Rromano
Asphalt Tango Records

Hailing from Serbia, the Earth Wheel Sky Band brings us great Gypsy music from the historic Balkan region. Olah Vince is featured on vocals, guitar and violin. Other band-mates play percussion, violin, bass and cymbalom. Special guest musician, Boban Markovic, of the acclaimed Boban Markovic Orkestra, lends his trumpeting talents on a single track. Each track features lively instrumentation – which is a trademark in authentic Gypsy music. Fans of Gypsy, brass band or Balkan music in general will appreciate the musical contributions of the Earth Wheel Sky Band on their latest release, Waltz Rromano.

Grey Larsen & Paddy League
Dark Of The Moon
Sleepy Creek Music

Based in Bloomington, Indiana USA, Greg Larsen and Paddy League perform traditional Irish music tunes, jigs and reels. Greg Larsen plays Irish flute, tin whistle, anglo concertina and harmonium. Paddy League plays bodhran, guitar and anglo concertina. Detailed liner notes are included on song origins and musician information. Dark Of The Moon is a wholly instrumental effort that certainly shines through musically. Overall, a strong album of traditional folk melodies that should be in everyone’s Irish/Celtic music collection!

Jonas Hellborg/Shawn Lane/Jeff Sipe
Time Is The Enemy
Bardo Music

Time Is The Enemy is the fourth album released and produced by Jonas Hellborg and the late Shawn Lane. Sadly, Shawn, a skillful electric guitarist by trade, passed away in 2003. Jonas Hellborg plays bass and Jeff Sipe plays drums. Time Is The Enemy features various instrumental songs from live performances from around the world, during their 1997 tour. The trio perform a unique style of experimental guitar/bass music infused with world/ethnic music tendencies, while also incorporating jazz elements. At any rate, fans of experimental guitar music with ethnic/jazz stylings will cherish a truly unforgettable album containing Shawn Lane’s talented guitar work.

Hossam Ramzy/Mohammed Naiem
Master Of The Arabian Flute
Arc Music

A collaboration between Hossam Ramzy and Mohammed Naiem can only lead to a brilliant and ground-breaking musical experience. Master Of The Arabian Flute directly depicts the above notion. Mohammed Naiem plays the arab nay flute and kawala. Hossam Ramzy is a percussionist by trade and adds his atmospheric/keyboard effects on all of the tracks. Both musicians are from Egypt. Mohammed Naiem’s nay flute playing is soft, yet precise and calm to the ears. Liner notes explaining how to play a nay flute, musician bios and more are also included, in German, English, French and Spanish translations.

Ada de Luque
Warm Summer Night Dreams
Luz Art Music

Ada de Luque brings us a musical masterpiece of subtle, jazz-tinged compositions and lounge-type vocal stylings. Each track is vocally strong, which showcase incredible emotionality and sensuality. Instrumentally, guitar, piano, drums, keyboards, woodwinds, brass, bass and various percussion back Ada’s vocals. All of the tracks are sung in English, with a few Spanish exceptions. Overall, Warm Summer Night Dreams is a worthy album of female vocal music, lounge jazz, cool jazz and Spanish chillout music. A solid recording!

Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on Mongolian Ethnomusicology, entitled: How Does Music Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that represent dozens of different countries. His general interests include ethnomusicology journalism and researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music of various cultures from around the world. His specific, geographic areas of study include the traditional and popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of 2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.