Kálmán Balogh and the Gypsy Cimbalom Band

Kálmán Balogh and the Gypsy Cimbalom Band

Gypsy Jazz

Rounder Select

The cimbalom is a sort of Central European dulcimer, played with mallets. Balogh plays the instrument with a high degree of clever abandon, and in his hands it takes on many characteristics, sometimes sounding like a banjo, sometimes like a harpsichord. The Gypsy Cimbalom Band does its best to keep up, ladling out glorious hunks of frenetic playing, and each of the players shines in solo turns and in playing seamlessly with others. Laszlo Major’s violin on “The Lark” glistens like water running down the creek, though Balogh himself tries to catch up in his cimbalom lead. When the violin isn’t weeping and the cimbalom chortling, there’s plenty of bossy trumpet and thumping double bass. If you’re expecting Reinhardt or Grapelli, you’ll be surprised and pleased by Balogh and his posse.

Rounder Records, 1 Camp St., Cambridge, MA 02140; http://www.rounder.com

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