Published December 2, 2005
Ivo Papasov, Yuri Yunakov, Neshko Neshev and Salif Ali
Together Again: Legends of Bulgarian Wedding Music (Traditional Crossroads)
For "Together Again," clarinetist Ivo Papasov has brought together the core members of his original "Wedding Band," Trakiya, which first formed in the 1970s. If the term "Wedding Band" conjures images of The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and Kool and the Gang's "Celebrate," then you've never heard Papasov's brand, which hyperkinetically mixes Bulgarian, Turkish, Gypsy, Indian, Klezmer and Balkan folk forms with driving, technically dazzling elements of fusion jazz and progressive rock. Musicians tend to go nuts over the acrobatics of Papasov and friends' instrumental flights of improvisational fancy--their odd time signatures and stuttering staccato lines somehow remain fluid, while audiences are driven to dance to the group's ecstatic grooves and infectious melodies.