Bohemian Nights – Brothers in Borscht
CD review by John Williams
One of the highlights at the 2010 National for me was the live performance of Bohemian Nights (Ernie Gruner and Phil Carroll).
Both men have a lot of experience in bands such as Jugularity and Klezmeritis and their live performance was extremely entertaining, as you would expect from two talented musicians with a long performing history.
Listening to this CD brought back some of those memories and I found it a most enjoyable experience.
I did however miss their entertaining patter between songs which you enjoy in a live performance.
The tunes on the CD cover Russian Gypsy, Romanian Gypsy, Gypsy Swing, Klezmer, French, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Argentinian, Macedonian, Arabic, Turkish and Jazz, which shows the wide interests and versatility of these fine musicians.
It also means there is something for everybody who likes violin, mandolin and accordion music.
Both men sing on several of the tracks, which adds to the enjoyment and breaks up the strong instrumental influence.
The medley ‘Gloomy Sunday Czardas/The Basso starts off slowly and quickly builds, slows and builds again, to create a real toe tapper.
I particularly enjoyed the French and Italian tunes, but I guess that is my background.
The Greek tracks ‘Hasapiko’ and ‘Hasapaserviko’ took me back to Greece where I was lucky enough to spend some time a couple of years ago.
The Italian Medley, ‘L’Uva Fragolina’, ‘Reginella Campagnola’ and ‘Marina’ did the same for me, only in Italy.
I loved the singing in that medley, it captured the spirit of Italy.
‘Les Champs-Elysees’ made you think you could be in a café on that famous Paris thoroughfare.
The other French medley, ‘Reine de Musette/Amelie/Mademoiselle de Paris’ did the same.
The Turkish track, ‘Canakkale Icinde’ was particularly haunting and quite beautiful to listen to.
‘H.C.Q. Strut’, a Gypsy Swing track which I am sure has been used in an ad somewhere, was also great to listen to.
I enjoyed all the tracks.
The CD made for very easy listening and I found it hard to stop toe tapping in a number of songs.
That makes for a great musical experience.
If you have caught a performance of Bohemian Nights you may already have this CD.
If you want to relive one of their concerts you could do a lot worse than purchase this CD.
I can recommend it.
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