New Reviews: June 6, 2001

April Verch

Canadian fiddle virtuoso April Verch showcases her amazing talent on her newest album, Verchuosity. April Verch is so talented that she can step dance and play the fiddle at the same time with ease. Traditional instrumental tunes stemming from Scottish, Celtic, French, Brazilian, Appalachian and Folk traditions comprise the majority of this recording. However, several original tunes are composed by April Verch. Numerous instruments accompany the fiddle, including the string bass, guitar, mandolin, frailed banjo, electric bass, piano, button accordion, bodhran, clarinet, saxophone, dumbek, clave and djembe. Fans of Canadian folk music, Nordic folk music and fiddle music in general, will undoubtedly enjoy Verchuosity. Similar artist include Donal Lunny (Ireland), JPP (Finland) and Natalie Macmaster (Canada).

I Left My Sweet Homeland (Elindultan Szep Hazambol)
The Okros Ensemble

I Left My Sweet Homeland features traditional folk music from Romania and Hungary. Laszlo Klemen is the ethnomusicologist and researcher largely responsible for the preservation of traditional folk music from Romania and Hungary. The violin, cymbalom, viola, double bass, guitar and drum are used throughout the album. Female vocalist Agnes Herczku, lends her beautiful vocals on a few of the tracks. Gypsy melodies and folk rhythms are representative of Central European musical traditions. The Okros Ensemble combines excellent musicianship with thousands of years of musical tradition to create a remarkable recording that brings to life the rich, musical history of Central Europe.

El Neuvo Tango (New Tangos)
Saul Cosentino
Romeo Records

Argentinian-born Saul Cosentino has been playing piano for the past 70 years. El Neuvo Tango showcases his amazing playing abilities. Several other instruments can be heard, including the violin, bandoneon, guitar, bass, drums, flute and soprano saxophone. Together, the instruments form an enjoyable mix of traditional Argentinian music. Vocalists Maria Eugenia Darre, Donna Caroll and Hernan Salis add their varied and important musical abilities on a few select tracks. Jazzy compositions, bolero/tango musical styles, classical Brazilian melodies and traditional vocals make El Neuvo Tango an essential album for fans of South American music.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.