"Elemér Balázs is one of Hungary's best known jazz drummers. Three years ago he invited six of his colleagues, all fine musicians in their own right, to form the Elemér Balázs Group, and they have become a highly acclaimed band by now... The Group has been touring Hungary extensively, and they are regularly invited to festivals not only in their home country but abroad as well. ... The group is striving to create their own sound characterised mainly by the contrast of the female and male voices. In their music they mix ethnic songs with original compositions."
"Elemér Balázs is one of the best drummers around right now, in my opinion. He plays with such musicality and finesse and has the ability to listen inside each musical moment with the kind of spontaneous decision - making that allows everyone that plays with him to sound their best. He also has a wonderful touch on the instrument - I always enjoy the chance to play with him and to hear him."
01. Menyecske, menyecske
02. Végigmentem a lónai nagyutcán
03. Lányok ülnek a toronyban
04. Szózat Katitzához a férfiak ügyiben
05. A nagy hegyeken túl
06. Árva madár
07. Arra kértem az én jóistenemet
08. Kivel háltál az éjjel
09. Szeretőm e táncba
10. A nagy erdő meséje
Gábor Winand - vocals
Elemér Balázs - drums
Gábor Juhász - guitars
Klára Hajdu - vocals
Péter Glaser - double bass
András Dés - percussion
József Balázs - piano
Bea Palya - vocals
Ágnes Szalóki - vocals
"Balval is an astonishingly modern take on the musical language of the gypsies. Balval, a youthful and fiery quartet, co-opts the traditional melodies of Eastern Europe and the Balkans and swirls them with jazz, blues, rock and folk. The result is a multicultural, multilingual world music that begs to be heard. In fact, no one makes music quite like Balval. In an ideal world, the quartet will do for Eastern European music what the Buena Vista Social Club has done for Cuba, or what Tinariwen has done for music of the Sahara.
It doesn't take long to hear how the sounds from different modern genres exert themselves on Blizzard Boheme. Eastern European and gypsy traditions quickly morph into something fresh and fun, as on "Tango," which becomes a coy frolic thanks to Awena Burgess' tart singing. The brooding "Keren, Chavorale, Drom" is sultry, very bluesy and a little playful. "Blues" is almost Chet Baker-esque in its languorous sweetness. "Liza" sounds like Leonard Cohen as filtered through the eyes of a Romanian gypsy.
There are experimental overtones here as well, with hints of Laurie Anderson, the Kronos Quartet and other adventurous artists. It's a credit to Balval that they can conjure up the spirit of those souls while at the same time remaining grounded in their unique neo-gypsy niche. Nothing is sacred. Everything is fair game when playing by their rules, which is basically not following any rules at all. The musical freedom is liberating.
In perpetrating this gorgeous chaos, Burgess is accompanied by violinist Rosalie Hartog, guitarist Daniel Mizrahi, bassist Benjamin Body, and percussionist Bachar Khalife. Together, the noise is brisk and blissful, crisp in performance and full of energy. The songs are sung in a variety of languages, from the Roma language, which is a beautiful mix of eastern chant and western vernacular, to Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Serbian. In fact, you can find Balval's Blizzard Boheme at the crossroads of all these marvelous and colorful cultures. "Balval" means "the Wind."
01.Ado Chavo [Hungary]
02.Dumbala Dumba [Romania]
03.Aman Lelo [Bulgaria/Azerbaijan]
04.Tango [Moldavian Hora]
05.Sude Phabaj [Hungary/Romania]
07.Jekha Chaja [Serbia]
08.Keren, Chavorale, Drom [Hungary]
09.Corro Som [Transylvanian Plain]
13.An La Devla [Balkans]
14.Loli Rokla [Czech Republic]
Awena Burgess (vocals)
Daniel Mizrahi (guitar)
Rosalie Hartog (violin)
Benjamin Body (double bass)
Bachar Khalife (percussions)
"We released Rege in both Hungary and Slovakia in 1998. I think that every reader would have to listen to it because it is difficult to characterise, so every reader should judge for themselves... ...Bernadett's appearance on the album, who is from the south of Hungary, because we had seen her win a competition for folk music vocalists on TV. Since then, she has appeared on our last two albums. In my opinion she has a very interesting voice, which is exactly what we need... I like the voice of Márta Sebestyén very much. Bernadett's voice is different, but for me, as good as Marta's. We instantly felt that Tánc a hóban [Dance in the Snow - on which Bernadett appears] would be the "hit" off Rege. We are very glad that this slow romantic song did become very popular."
"This world music album from the Ghymes Group will most probably raise the number of their already large group of fans. The black cover hides a colorful musical material that adjusts the Central-European folk traditions to the musical tendencies of the world. The “Dance in the snow” by Tamás Szarka to be found on the album is a beautiful folk-rock composition."
04. Jézus ágyán
05. Azért ne bánkódjál
07. Bujdosó dal
08. Ej, de igen nagy kár
09. Ne nézz hátra
10. Tánc a hóban
12. Fennen hordod
Andor Buják - viola, saxophon, double bass, flute, turkish pipe, chorus, saxophon, clarinet, flute
Krisztián Buják - horns, drums, clarinet, saxophon, flute
Gyula Szarka - voice, guitar, lute, double bass, chorus
Tamás Szarka - voice, double bass, lute, guitars, violin, chorus
Péter Farnbauer - synthesizer
Bernadett Kiss - voice
Galántai Magyar Tanítási Nyelvu Alapiskola Gyermekkórusa - voice
Kálmán Eredics - tarabuka
Gábor Eredics - accordian
János Lau - percussion