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Fanfare Ciocarlia: Onwards To Mars!

Bruce Lindsay By

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Onwards To Mars! is the twentieth anniversary release from the big Balkan brass band that is Fanfare Ciocărlia. One of the finest live acts on Earth, the band's energy, musicality and sheer unfettered sense of fun readily translate to record, making this album one of the most uplifting and cheerful collections one could wish to hear.

Fanfare Ciocărlia sets out its stall on the a cappella opening to "Crayfish Hora"—funny, unpretentious, and immediately engaging, it draws the listener in to the special world of Fanfare Ciocărlia. "Mista Lobaloba" melds outlandish vocals with impressively precise rapid-fire brass playing and an irresistible hook. For fans of vintage rock 'n' roll there's "I Put A Spell On You," a highly-charged, dramatic and often hilarious take on the Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic featuring Iulian Canaf's vocal. There's even a wry, downbeat, humor to "The Patron's Funeral."

The traditional "Doina Pentru Un Frant Inima" shows that the band is just as capable of playing more serious numbers: "Un Tigan Avea O Casa," another traditional song, features some particularly fiery trumpet lines. "Fiesta De Negritos" brings more power and vivacity to proceedings as the band is joined by producer and composer Koby Israelite and the members of Columbia's Puerto Candelaria.

Onwards To Mars! may well be the band's current clarion call, but if/when Fanfare Ciocărlia makes it to the Red Planet, then Earth's loss will be Mars' gain. Here's to the next 20 years.

Track Listing: Crayfish Hora; Mista Lobaloba; 3 Romanians; Trenul, Masina Mica; Out To Lounge; I Put A Spell On You; Cucuritza; Doina Pentru Un Frant Inima; Bunica Bate Toba; Saints & Dates; Un Tigan Avea O Casa; The Patron's Funeral; Hora Strengarilor; Fiesta De Negritos.

Personnel: Costica "Cimai" Trifan: trumpet, vocals; Radulescu Lazar: trumpet, vocals; Paul Marian Bulgaru: trumpet; Craciun Trifan: trumpet; Oprica Ivancea: clarinet, alto saxophone; Daniel Ivancea: alto saxophone; Constantin "Pinca" Cantea: tuba; Monel "Gutzel" Trifan: tuba; Constantin "Sulo" Calin: tenor horn; Laurentiu Mihai Ivancea: baritone horn; Costel "Gisniaca" Ursu: large drum; Nicolae Ionita: percussion; Iulian Canaf: vocals (6); Vladut Ivancea: clarinet (14); Kai Schonburg: drums (14); Michael Metzler: percussion (14); Koby Israelite: drums, percussion, accordion (14); Maite Hontele: trumpet (14).

Title: Onwards To Mars! | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Asphalt Tango

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