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Balamouk [Import]

Les Yeux NoirsAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Import, 2000 $15.96  
Audio CD, Import, 2002 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: World Village USA
  • ASIN: B000067NUG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,094 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Balamouk
2. Tchaye
3. Yiddishe Mama
4. Cioara
5. Trionica
6. Rozinkhes
7. Vulpe
8. Guene Roma
9. Lluba
10. Joc De Loop
11. Lodz
12. Liebkeit (La Tendresse)

Editorial Reviews

The relationship between Eastern European gypsy music and Yiddish klezmer has always been slightly mysterious. As traditional "outsiders" to Christian village culture, both gypsy and Jewish musicians earned a living in the preindustrial past by integrating local melodies with whatever else was in vogue for weddings, banquets, and other celebrations. The result was plenty of stylistic cross-fertilization, though the particulars are lost to history. According to the French-based ensemble Les Yeux Noirs, however, the paths of the gypsies and the klezmorim don't merely cross; the two groups walk in one another's footprints. So if "Tchaye" simultaneously resembles a Spanish flamenco, Balkan hora, Yiddish freylekh, and Middle Eastern belly dance, the genre confusion fuels the fun. Classically trained violinists Eric and Olivier Slabiak founded Les Yeux Noirs (the name comes from a Django Reinhardt tune, "Black Eyes") after falling in love with the music of the Jewish diaspora and all its far-flung influences. The band matches the mind-boggling precision of its performances with the deepest soul. "Trionica" overlaps accordion and cimbalom melodies, while Pascal Rondeau flings off French gypsy-jazz guitar chords in a driving hailstorm of notes. "Guene Roma" adds a tuba to the acoustic mix, while "Joc de Loop" knocks the traditional melody for a loop with swing-style, cross-cultural controlled pandemonium. Vocals worthy of a cantor on "Liebkeit" ("tenderness") boost the pleasure quotient another couple of notches on a disc already saturated with satisfying style. Although Balamouk is Romanian for "house of fools," the band shell is clearly populated with musical wiseacres. --Bob Tarte

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Falling in Love September 27, 2002
Format:Audio CD
It is playing right now in the background, while I am writing these words, as I have just returned from Les Yeux Noirs' concert. I want to cry, to shout, to scream, to dance, to die, to live - is it love? This music carries your soul down to the depth of your blood, and believe me, your blood would boil exstatically as soon as Eric Slabiak touches the tormented strings of his violin... Whoever and whatever you are at this very moment would not matter. Suddenly your knowledge of Roma, Yiddish or Russian manifests itself: you unsuspectedly speak in tongues, sing, and dance as if you had these skills all along.
Blessed is the one whose days start with the sounds of Les Yeux Noirs, and whose days end with their music. The heights of joy and grief are there. And the most sincere love of the band members to the old melodies is transfused into your veins. After all it is love..............
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These guys are fantastic July 3, 2002
Format:Audio CD
A French gypsy band playing in San Jose, CA?
I am so glad I followed my intuition to go see them live!
Since then, I have emailed my friends around the US to catch Les Yeux Noirs as their 3 week tour of the US takes them from coast to coast crossing the Midwest.
These 8 guys will touch your soul...and leave you wanting more...we got 4 more songs from them as encore, we didn't want their show to end!
Music to make you weep
Music to make you smile
Music to get you on your feet
And music to sing along.....
These guys are happening.... their energy is infectious and their talent is beyond words...
Be prepared to see Erik and Olivier Slabiak play the SAME violin at the SAME time...
Pray they play close to where you live,
and walk, drive, fly...whatever it takes....see them!
Live is best, this CD is second best...
Quit reading this and buy this CD!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a kaleidoscope of sound August 7, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I heard Les Yeux Noirs (The Black Eyes) at an international music festival in Louisiana and was absolutely blown away by the musicians and their music. Two violinist brothers have assembled the most awesome band that take traditional folk lyrics and melodies and infuse 21st century energy and passion into them. Their music is gypsy-Yiddish influenced and contains both lively dance music as well as melancholy songs and lullabyes. Balamouk is a fabulous CD. You don't have to understand the different languages in the songs to get caught up in the exhilaration and passion. It provides a wonderful variety of musical styles and influences - like a musical tasting party!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars energy, emotion, and creativity August 16, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought this and another cd from Les Yeux Noirs after seeing them in concert. The members of this band have impressive talent, highlighted by the Slabiak brothers' incredible violin skills. While the earlier CD reflects the band members learning the forms of eastern European/Yiddish/Gypsy music, Balamouk represents a nice evolution from their earlier work. They have clearly explored, developed, and evolved more musical ideas building from the frame of traditional music from eastern Europe. Balamouk is a highly creative and emotive collection of songs from a group of talented musicians. They are even better live in concert. Les Yeux Noirs rock!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must have" July 8, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I just saw Les Yeux Noirs live in Paris and it simply was one of the best concert I have ever gone to.
It is usually very hard to combine virtuosity and emotion but they definitely succeeded.
It was also the very first time I saw Catholic people singing in Yiddish.
Don't hesitate, you will love this record !!!
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