Brass Menazeri – Vranjski San
Reviewed by Sadie O., 8/5/10
High-quality Bay-Area Balkan Gypsy brass band. Mostly seems very true to roots, but a couple of songs have jazzy/Latin feel to them. Singing and playing is excellent, but the tracks that feel more multicultural (12 and 15 in particular) are more interesting IMO.
1. 5:06 **trumpet flourish intro for 45 seconds, then upbeat Balkan Gypsy brass oom-pah. Jolly, a bit jazzy.
2. 7:15 **drone and pretty female solo vocals, then some somber drums and brass with female harmonies. Quite lovely.
3. 6:36 **very uptempo with a dance feel, solo female vocals. Goes positively manic halfway through.
4. 2:03 long trumpet intro with some bits of silence.
5. 4:03 ***drum-n-brass, uptempo and upbeat with a bit of jazz feel. Groovy.
6. 5:10 ***midtempo syncopated march with clarinets and female vocals
7. 4:35 *drum and full brass, rather somber.
8. 3:33 ***swingy midtempo oom-pah, pretty female vocals.
9. 1:41 *jazzy, bent-note solo cornet(?).
10. 5:13 ***groovy syncopated drum, swingy full brass, female vocals, jazzy clarinet solo.
11. 4:25 **lovely woodwind intro, then manic full brass band with odd time signature and several wild solos.
12. 4:43 ****drum intro seems to lead to something rather other than the uptempo lopsided gypsy-jazz march that ensues, but that’s ok. There’s something that’s almost afro-cuban percussion in the middle. Cover of a Bollywood tune. Interesting mash-up.
13. 1:11*mournful sounding jazzy solo trumpet.
14. 4:06 ***jolly uptempo oompah, all the horns working out in unison or taking solos. Ends 15 seconds early, then bit of some kind of broadcast.
15. 4:26 ****syncopated midtempo groove with a bit of Latin tinge and who knows what else. Fun and highly listenable.