Romashka
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cd cover Romashka
Romashka
Self-release (www.romashka.net)

This steamy little disc of Russian and Romanian gypsy music is a case of musicus interruptus. Over in less than a half-hour, it leaves the listener panting for more. Though packaged as a nicely finished product, it is really more of a polished demo than anything else. But this New York based octet has a lot to offer. Every track is crisp and danceable, with sassy, jazzy horns, crashing percussion, and throbbing accordion. Vocalist Inna Barmash warbles as slinkily as a Balkan Edith Piaf.

Listen!
Her work on "Tanya (A Secret)" is smoldering. On "Rustemul," guitarist Joey Weisenberg and violinist Jake Shulman-Ment set up a down-and-dirty near-rock groove that is picked up by the horns, but alas, at less than two minutes, it's over too soon. Winner of the best subtitle award is "Zaznobila & Baro Foro (She messed with my head in the great city)." It's a fun party song that lives up to the promise of its name. The bonus track is a scratchy, retrofied version of "Tanya." Then, just when the dancers are getting warmed up, it's over. More, more, more! - Peggy Latkovich

CD available from cdRoots


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