New Reviews: July 7, 1998

Zabe i Babe (literally "frogs and grandmothers" in English) is a meeting of two very diverse cultures. The band is Sarajevo and American in origin, formed by Minja Lausevic at Yale University, who was formerly a television commentator and teacher at the Sarajevo Music Academy.

The rest of the band are professional musicians Tim Eriksen and Peter Irvine, founding members respectively of Cordelia's Dad and Io; Tristra Newyear, a vocalist learned in the traditions of Bosnia, Russia, Finland, and India; and Donna Kwon, a vocalist/percussionist who holds an MA in ethnomusicology.

Drumovi is the band's new album, and features, not surpringly, a strong Serbo-Croatian influences, underscored by the Ansabl Teodosijevski, considered by many to he the world's greatest Gypsy ensemble, and hailing from the former Yugoslavia. The 18 songs consist of a mix of folk-rock as well as traditional Balkan singing -- the latter being a very intense experience, as the female harmonies soar through many octaves far beyond the range of most vocalists.

Drumovi is far more than just an album -- it is an experience, an exchange at a cultural crossroad.