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Master of the Gypsy Cimbalom

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
From cimbalom player and former Muszikás member Kálmán Balogh, this aptly named album shows off an instrument popular in Hungarian Gypsy music but little heard otherwise. Balogh takes on Hungarian, Romanian, and Moldavian Gypsy music both modern and traditional; sad ballads; and uptempo dances. The range is remarkable, matched only by the stunning speed of Balogh's mallets on his dulcimer. For listeners coming to Balogh by way of his work with larger ensembles, the excitement may be somewhat muted, with less accompaniment and fewer full band numbers heard here. The cimbalom certainly doesn't have a sparse sound, but may seem sparse in relation to the well-known Eastern ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
From cimbalom player and former Muszikás member Kálmán Balogh, this aptly named album shows off an instrument popular in Hungarian Gypsy music but little heard otherwise. Balogh takes on Hungarian, Romanian, and Moldavian Gypsy music both modern and traditional; sad ballads; and uptempo dances. The range is remarkable, matched only by the stunning speed of Balogh's mallets on his dulcimer. For listeners coming to Balogh by way of his work with larger ensembles, the excitement may be somewhat muted, with less accompaniment and fewer full band numbers heard here. The cimbalom certainly doesn't have a sparse sound, but may seem sparse in relation to the well-known Eastern European Gypsy ensembles. The album opens with a slightly Turkish-sounding number before moving into a trio of more traditional stylings. A short Gypsy jazz interlude provides inflections of American swing, and a short bit of solfège in combination with Balogh's cimbalom hints at the musical connections with India's santoor. After a piece originally written for violin, the music takes a turn into Romanian pieces for the rest of the main album's course. Tacked onto the end, however, are two items from Kálmán Balogh "and friends," larger ensemble pieces that make use of the full ARC Records stable -- Hossam Ramzy on percussion, Pablo Carcamo on bass, and Enrique Ugarte on accordion, among others. The sound is less coherent but more groove-centric, and reignites what had become a slower spell of the album. Give the ensembles Muszikás, Taraf de Haïdouks, etc. a shot first, but then come back to Balogh as an excellent example of a solo player.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/14/2008
  • Label: Arc Music
  • UPC: 743037217224
  • Catalog Number: 2172
  • Sales rank: 127,539

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kálmán Balogh Primary Artist, Cimbalom
Pablo Cárcamo Bass, Flute, Guest Appearance
Flavio Cucchi Guitar, Guest Appearance
Enrique Ugarte Accordion, Guest Appearance
Margie Butler Flute, Guest Appearance
Hossam Ramzy Percussion, Tabla, Egyptian Percussion, Guest Appearance
Florie Brown Violin, Guest Appearance
Paul Espinoza Guitar, Accordion, Guest Appearance
Sándor Barbócz Violin, Soloist, Group Member
Albert Mohácsy Double Bass, Guest Appearance
István Berán Clarinet, Flute, Guest Appearance
Sandor Barbocz Violin, Guest Appearance
Albert Mohacsy Double Bass, Guest Appearance
Zsolt Nagy Viola, Guest Appearance
Beata Salamon Violin, Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Kálmán Balogh Arranger
Pablo Cárcamo Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Diz Heller Mastering
Traditional Composer
Alex Stokes Cover Design
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