Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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L'Orient Est Rouge

There is no Gypsy music, only musics Gypsies play. The genre that captivated Beirut's Zach Condon is Gypsy brass, and this skillfully produced 1997 recording makes an ideal starter CD. Featuring trumpeter and hereditary leader Naat Veliov, expelled in an unsavory contract wrangle shortly after taking his tuba-bumping Macedonian band international, it beautifies the hot blare of Romania's Fanfare Ciocarlia and the raggedy-ass craziness of Serbia's Boban Markovic with Veliov's firm yet woozy lyricism. A stone classic caps the high-test performance: the Roma "national anthem," "Djelem, Djelem."

Rolling Stone, Aug. 11, 2006