Ivo Papasov - Dance of the Falcon
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Ivo Papasov
Dance of the Falcon
World Village (www.worldvillagemusic.com)

Papasov has a well-deserved seat at the top of the Bulgarian wedding music pantheon. He's a clarinetist of uncanny skill and inventiveness who has inspired legions of young musicians to try to fill his enormous shoes. On this new release, he explores themes of love, marriage, sex, falcons, and panthers. He has legions of musicians backing him up, and though he keeps his swirling, screaming clarinet at the center of it all, one could argue that some of the arrangements are a little too slick to get a good grip on his solos. The overwrought piano and synth on the traditional "Hubava si Moya Goro (Beautiful Forest)" ooze over into smooth jazz indulgence. Likewise the over-orchestrated "Sunrise," where the sweeping strings nearly overpower the clarinet. The breathtaking solo intro to the traditional "Prayer from the Mountains Daglar" gets run over by a truck of dense orchestration. His manic take on Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther," however, is inspired lunacy. "Echoes of Rumelia" is a driving men's wedding dance with a restless rhythm pushed along by the popping percussion. The title track has a triumphant, muscular energy to it. The music here is at its best when Papasov keeps the arrangements gritty and close to the ground. - Peggy Latkovich

CD available from cdRoots

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