by Les Yeux NoirsLes Yeux Noirs


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Live, the last studio album from les Yeux Noir, isn't a completely convincing affair. There's no doubt about the power of this live disc, however. Whether they're emphasizing vocals on the poignant, aching "Lluba" or burning up their instruments on tortuous, frenetic instrumental passages, there's an absolute conviction and authority about this -- not to mention an enormous joy in the playing. The two violinists stand to the fore -- their tricky unison passages are absolutely stunning -- but everyone is superb. Marian Miu gets an outing on "Cymbalum," where he gets to show his chops on the cimbalom, or hammered dulcimer. There's long been a very fine line between gypsy music -- the heartbeat of les Yeux Noir -- and klezmer, one that's often crossed in both directions. The band plays their part at cultural crossover with "Yiddishe Mame," in an unusual arrangement led by guitar and cello. It's a little sentimental but avoids diving too deeply into the saccharine. And they shake off all traces of sugar as the set progresses. If anything, they raise the excitement even higher, given a staggering version of Katchaturian's "Danse Du Sabre" that must have had the violin bows in flames, but they never lose the melody of the piece. Unlike some gypsy bands, they don't go for the extended workouts, keeping everything relatively short and punchy -- and it works well for them. They leave the audience as breathless as they are.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/08/2003
Label: World Village Usa
UPC: 0713746801922
catalogNumber: 468019

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