Nicholas McGegan has done more for the early music movement in America than nearly anyone else, and his tireless explorations of the byways of Baroque opera have put many fascinating works into the concert hall and onto recordings. He studied piano at London's Trinity College of Music and learned to play the flute while he was there, but entertained no special desire to study historical performance.
Ederlezi spans 10 years of Goran Bregovic's film music career, covering much of his work for Balkan director Emir Kusturica as well as to the movies Toxic Affair and La Reine Margot. It shouldn't be a shock to discover that Bregovic's music is steeped in the culture of his homeland. His compositions for Kusturica's Underground are a goulash of foot-stomping gypsy festivities, like the Balkan take on Carnaval in "Cajesukarije Cocek" and the thunderous trumpet on "Kalasnjikov". For the film Le temps des gitans he wrote "Talijanska", which begins with a pleasant jaunt on the accordion, makes a daring turn into a cul-de-sac of brooding drones, and then returns to the welcome safety of the starting point with a larger ensemble. There are also many unexpected encounters on this collection, the most surprising being Iggy Pop's vocals on the EZ-listening pop of "TV Screen". Others include the juxtaposition of tender acoustic guitar and chimes with narration by Johnny Depp on "American Dreamers" and the crooning of dark angel Scott Walker on "Man From Reno".
This reissue is unrelated to another V.S.O.P. set simply titled A Jazz Band Ball. Terry Gibbs on vibes and marimba matches wits and creativity with Victor Feldman and Larry Bunker, both of whom double on vibes and xylophone. Assisted by pianist Lou Levy, bassist Max Bennett and drummer Mel Lewis, the intriguing frontline essentially plays bop, but with a great deal of color. The interaction between the vibraphonists, who are all featured and occasionally trade off, is the main reason to acquire this very interesting set.