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Istanbul Oriental Ensemble : Caravanserai  The CDNOW Interview with Eden's Crush
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CD $13.49
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01. Katar
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02. Carsida
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03. Hali Dokuyan Kiz
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04. Bozkirda Dugun
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05. Gelinin Oynamasi
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06. Basbasa
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07. Ates Basinda
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08. Askin Sarabi
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09. Ya Kerim!
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10. Kor Gibi Darbuka
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11. Orient Ekspres
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Date: February 13, 2001
Genre: WORLD
Category: Turkish
Burhan Ocal : Bass, Darbouka, Percussion
Production Credits
Istanbul Oriental Ensemble : Arranger
Roland Kopp : Graphic Design
Radu Marinescu : Digital Mastering, Digital Pre-Mastering, Engineer
  Burhan Ocal : Arranger, Leader, Producer
Christian Scholze : Digital Mastering, Digital Pre-Mastering, Photography, Producer


March 2, 2001
Istanbul Oriental Ensemble

Were you to see Turkish musical virtuoso Burhan Öçal tooling around Istanbul in his restored '48 Dodge or '52 Plymouth, you might not suspect he is one of the world's foremost preservationists of 18th- and 19th-century Gypsy music from Thrace. When you think about it, however, it makes perfect sense. Both are just different facets of cultural conservation; ways of keeping the past alive for the future.

Öçal -- who, himself, plays the darbuka, kös, divan-saz, tanbur, and oud -- has brought together some of Turkey's finest Roma musicians in the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble. Their upcoming tour and newly released album, Caravansarai, revives the authentic Gypsy music from a region at the crossroads of the Balkans and Turkey. The great Gypsy migration passed through here over a millennium ago, as it moved from India and the Middle East to Europe.

Gypsies have held a powerful influence over the music of Turkey and the surrounding region since the 10th century. Because of Islamic disapproval of music, it was mainly the domain of Greeks, Jews, and Gypsies. These subcultures became important bearers of musical tradition over the centuries, providing and preserving everything from folk to classical to popular music.

Being constant travelers, Turkish Gypsies acquired a huge repertoire, adopting elements of classical Turkish music that allowed their temperament and vitality to shine in their playing. Most specifically, it was the solo improvisations, called taksim, which formed the foundation of their musical style. One musician would develop a theme by introducing a makam (mode), which was then picked up and embellished by another musician. These improvisations often went long into the night.

Much of this is captured on this new album (on the Network label), as well as their previous recordings, Gypsy Rum and Sultan's Secret Door, both of which won German Record Critics' Awards.

Adrienne E. Gusoff
CDNOW Contributing Writer

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