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My Band's New CD

nwilkinsnwilkins New
edited July 2007 in CD, DVD, and Concert Reviews Posts: 431
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to announce that my band Gypsophilia has recently released a CD entitled Minor Hope

It is not straight ahead 'gypsy jazz', but rather music that takes Django Reinhardt as an inspiration and combines many other influences including classical, klezmer and more modern jazz. The CD is pretty varied and I feel like we've produced something pretty interesting and taken this style of music in a unique direction. Anyhow, if you are interested in hearing clips they are available on our website,

If after hearing the clips you decide that you'd like to own a copy you can also order the CD on our website.

Thanks for reading,



  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Hi Nick,

    I was just thinking that you'd been absent from the boards lately; glad to know it was for the best of reasons! Your band looks like it's having a blast.

  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    maybe I should mention too that the CD was recorded live in front of an audience, which is kind of cool.
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 268
    I picked up Minor Hope, and I have to say, it's one of the best music purchases I've made in a long time. It seems like for Nick and company, gypsy jazz is more a starting point than a destination. All of the tunes on this album were written by members of the band, and they're all fascinating. "Gyre" starts the album unassumingly. Its chord structure is from the "Dark Eyes" school, leaving room for the soloists to burn things up. The awesome Fender Rhodes solo was my first clue that some strange things were afoot. "HIV Jump" starts with a peppy bass figure and a melody that wouldn't be out of place on a Charles Trenet album. But at a minute in, the tune suddenly breaks down into a melancholy waltz. A boppy guitar solo flirts with 4/4 time, the waltz reappears, and then a sopranino sax solo ushers the head back with a vengeance. Compositionally, it's a real adventure, but the band goes even further out with the next tune, "Sebo Psoriatic Psongs." It's Django meets Monk meets Bob Wills at a blues bar in Bulgaria. And yet, for all the compositional and melodic chances the band takes, the music is always incredibly listenable, joyful, and fun. The rest of the album follows suit, with plenty of swing, some ballads, waltzes, and even a quick run at klezmer.

    Aside from the compositions, there is some wonderful playing here. Nick's rhythm guitar and Adam Fine's bass are rock solid. Lead guitarists Ross Burns and Alec Frith play their hearts out, forgoing speed for melody and ditching cliched licks for more personal statements. Gina Burgess' violin brings some classical and folk flavors to the mix. The band's not-so-secret weapons, though, are reed man Dani Oore and keyboardist Sageev Oore. Dani plays soprano, sopranino, and baritone saxes, as well as flute (and cymbal, according to the liner notes). His tone on the higher reeds is fantastic. There's nary a trace of the smooth jazz that seems to have besmirched the soprano sax's reputation. Instead, he pulls out a sound like a clarinet that's ready for a knife fight: forceful without being forced, sharp, and dangerous. His bari sax tone comes at the listener from a much different direction, all fuzzy and enveloping. Sageev Oore brings an unusual flavor to the album with his Fender Rhodes electric piano, melodica, and accordion. When I think of electric piano, I usually think of bad jazz fusion, bad '80s rock ballads, and the bad theme song to "Doogie Howser," but in Sageev's hands, it rises above all that. His playing has a fun and inviting flavor and a very natural, acoustic tone, like a piano crossbred with a a vibraphone. (And it's not totally without precedence in gypsy jazz --- check out Titi Winterstein's album Saitenstrassen.) The melodica playing on this album is also worth mentioning. It's definitely a bit more lo-fi than than the accordion, but the breath control allows for some really interesting horn-like phrasing that most accordionists don't explore.

    I enthusiastically recommend this album to fans of Koen De Cauter's recent recordings, anyone bored with endless "Minor Swing" covers or nostalgia acts, and anyone who wants to hear smart music that never aims over the listener's head. Nick, you and your band have done a great job. I look forward to hearing more.
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    thanks a lot for the nice review Rod :D
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252

    That is top flight! Your influences seem broad and yet it is really tight and swings. I absolutely love new influences; one of the reasons I'm such a fan of Wrembel & Nolan is that they play Gypsy from their unique perspective - - - and why I love it when Andreas Oberg brings his amazing straight ahead chops into the mix.

    This is really good work, folks!

    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    thanks for your comments too Bob :)
  • andoatagnandoatagn Northampton, MAProdigy
    Posts: 134
    Hey Nick:
    Congrats on your new CD! I went to your website to check out the clips. The good news is: I wanted to hear more. The bad news is: I wanted to hear more. If you have any say in such matters I'd suggest you make the clips a wee bit longer and choose carefully what you want to highlight. From the sound of what I heard, giving people more to go on will only get them more interested. Good work, though...really refreshing.

    (PS...nice to meet a couple more Nova Scotialites at Django in June this year. Both Ben and Daniel were great to have around.)

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