The two CD set is overflowing with compositions spanning twelve years of Robin’s recordings, pieced together from Gitans, Kali Gadji, Rakhi, Un Ciel de Cuivre and Le Regard Nu. To classify Robin’s music is to stray too far off the path and the intent of his music. To put it simply, there is no classification of genre that could do his work justice. French and Spanish Gypsy influences are woven around and together with musical traditions of the Middle Eastern and Indian. Tapestry is such an overused analogy in musical fusion but in Robin’s compositions it’s an apt analogy. It’s as if a shiny piece of sound caught Robin’s ear and he simply picked it up and put it in his repertoire. To incorporate all that’s wild and wonderful in other traditions, you have to come up with a remarkable group of musicians and singers. Robin has done just that with the likes of Gabriel Levasseur, Abdelkrim Sami, Paco el Lobo, Amar Saadna, Joseph Saadna, Farid Saadna, Gulabi Sapera and a whole host of other talented musicians and singers.
The compilation is divided into two CDs, Le Jour and La Nuit. Le Jour is charged with such pieces as La Petite Mer, Rumba Do Vesou II, Swing Wassoulou, Ma Gavali and Chirmi Mala. Rumba Do Vesou II features Abdelkrim Sami “Diabolo” on the darbuka; Titi Robin, Bruno el Gitano and Mambo Saadna on guitars but it is Paco el Lobo’s, Mambo Saadna’s and Bruno el Gitanos’s passion soaked vocals that set the piece on fire. Swing Wassoulou really does swing in the combination of driving percussion with accordion, brass and Titi Robin on the oud. Gulabi Sapera’s vocals on Chirmi Mala from Rakhi soar against the chunky percussion, Gabriel Levasseur on organ and Robin on guitar.
La Nuit as the name suggests takes a darker, more reflective, tone. Patchiv from Gitans infuses the French Gypsy sound of François Castiello on accordion with Indian-sounding guitar work by Françis-Alfred Moerman and Robin. Haçer Toruk’s enchanting prelude vocals in Petite-Mere Sultane, from Un Ciel de Cuivre open the way for the intricate musical patterns of bendir, accordion, clarinet, ud and bouzouki. Django a Bagdad and Marraine are two more gems on this CD. Kali Gadji is a solo piece featuring Robin on the ud, its spare loveliness is rich beyond words.
CD 1. Le Jour
01. La petite mer
02. Panolero (version II)
03. Rumba do vesou II
04. Bleu indigo
05. Swing wassoulou (version II)
06. Réveil a la caravane
07. Fandangos maures
10. Ma gavali
11. Chirmi mala
12. Anita (version instrumentale)
13. Rumba choucarde
CD 2.La Nuit
01. Nuit de pleine lune
02. Patchiv (extrait)
03. Petite-mere sultane
05. Theme a Lise II
06. Kicsi, Kicsi Kém
07. Lovari (extrait)
08. Rumba de la casa
09. Django a Bagdad
10. Improvisation a la guitare voilée
13. Ma gavali - boléro (extrait)
14. Le pere et la mere
15. Leito dje dje
16. Taqsim et danse au 'oud
17. La rose de Jaipur
18. Kali Gadji
19. Epilogue en maqâm rast
After playing as a group for 11 out of the past 16 years, with 7 albums under their belts, Kolinda is still relatively unknown in their native Hungary and virtually unheard of in North America.
"They're one of the most interesting European groups that I've heard," says Gary Cristall, organizer of the Vancouver Folkfestival, "but they do it in a different way. Even though they were doing traditional stuff, it had a different edge to it. They've never been looked on very favorably in Hungary. They were always a little too far outside."
Kolinda's reputation for being outside comes from the way they mix elements of Hungarian and Balkan folksongs with a large amount of jazz, a bit of classical, and even a few notes of rock. Their music manages to melt the passion and urgency of gypsy music with the cerebral with of cool jazz, an exciting combination that makes them one of the most successful hybrids of folk and contemporary music around today.
Kolinda first formed in 1974, and in the next four years they released three albums on the French Hexagone label. But in 1978 the group disbanded and the members went on to other projects.
In 1984, the group got together for a reunion tour. They've been playing together ever since, and have recorded four albums. But even with their diverse sources of inspiration , Kolinda never sounds contrived.
While other "ethnofusion" bands often seem like a patchwork of styles and cultures - contemporary instrumentation precariously and arbitrarily tacked on to ethnic folk music - Kolinda always sounds inevitable. They weave all their various influences together so seamlessly that it somehow seems as if it could be no other way. Their sounds is a solid, unified whole that blends fervor and freshness without a hint of artifice.
01 - Ilju haramia
02 - Szerelem
03 - Tánc
04 - Csodafiú szarvas
05 - Töredékek
06 - Cigány hallgató
Péter Dabasi: voice, guitar, tamboura, zither, gardon
Ferenc Kis: voice, violin, Turkish hautbois
lván Lantos: voice, bass, Turkish hautbois, pipes, percussions, gardon
Ágnes Zsigmondi: voice, flute