Various artists


“Wild sounds from Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia” are the words on the back of this CD. They got that right: ear-grabbing vivid music by Romanian and Gypsy artists in studios from Bucharest—a wild splash of pulsating syncopated rhythms and instrumental colors ranging from the “vicara cu goama” (a horn-enhanced fiddle) to bold brass bands bouncing along in rhythm patterns of three-three-two. (Remember the background rhythm to Mission Impossible?) Female vocals are interspersed with soaring paper-whistle melodies, and village dances with running clarinet lines recall passages by George Enescu, Béla Bartók and Leos Janacek. Instrumental breaks, not out of place in jazz, run headlong into spiraling fiddles and hammered dulcimer. It’s a rhythmic, dancing delight to the ears, with lyrical moments and exotic tunes.