20 tracks of their most requested songs from one of the world's most famous vocal groups. The Gipsy Kings' distinctive and passionate brand of world music has won them the respect and admiration of devoted fans everywhere. Their formula is a successful mix of raw flamenco with Latin American and Arabic influences along with rai and rock.The Gipsy Kings are largely responsible for bringing the joyful sounds of progressive pop-oriented flamenco, called Sevillana in Spain, to the world. The band started out in Arles, a village in southern France during the '70s when brothers Nicolas and Andre Reyes, the sons of renowned flamenco artist Jose Reyes, teamed up with their cousins Jacques, Maurice and Tonino Baliardo, whose father is Manitas de Plata. They originally called themselves Los Reyes and started out as a gypsy band traveling about playing weddings, festivals, and in the streets. Because they lived so much like gypsies, the band adopted the name the Gipsy Kings. Later, they were hired to add color to posh parties in St. Tropez.
As leaders of the flamenco music genre, the Gipsy Kings have thrilled audience's worldwide for over 16 years. Here, they are captured in a live performance at the legendary Kenwood House in London. At this majestic setting on the water in front of thousands of fans, the Gipsy Kings play some of their greatest hits, including 'Baila Me' and 'Volare'.
As leaders of the flamenco music genre, the Gipsy Kings have thrilled audience's worldwide for over 16 years. Here, they are captured in a live performance at the legendary Kenwood House in London…
After their internationally successful 1988 self-titled debut, few have followed the the Gypsy Kings' noteworthy fusion of their distinctive flamenco-inflected pop with other international influences. Love & Liberte, a 1994 Elektra Records release, is one of their few compilations of all-new material, one that demonstrates this growth perhaps more than any of their other projects. One of their more extravagant songs, "No Vivire" implements a prominent bassline and strong brass accents in the chorus. Equally pleasant but slightly less authentic, "Escucha Me" crosses their Spanish guitar sound with a full reggae ensemble. The album's zenith hits with two instrumental tracks, "Guitarra Negra" and "Love and Liberte." "Guitarra Negra" shows off castanets with bongos. Every few bars, the intensity seems to reach a peak, only to retreat and regroup for another charge.
The Gipsy Kings are a band of musicians from the Catalan region in the south of France. Their roots are steeped in the Romany tradition and they demonstrate a love of Rumba Catalana - a love which they have brought to a more mainstream audience. The Gipsy Kings have been incredibly successful, selling in excess of 18 million albums worldwide, and they remain France's best-selling musical group.
The Gipsy Kings had major crossover success with their splendid and innovative third album, which used drums, bass, percussion, and synthesizer to beef up the sound. This French import is their first album from 1983, and it is a much more traditional affair, with only acoustic guitars, voices, and hand claps. It shows that artistically the sound did not need to be beefed up; the music is still wonderful. How can an array of seven guitars and full-throated passion not be wonderful? Commercially, the additions to their sound helped break The Gipsy Kings through to a larger audience, but now that their name is known, it should be possible for more people to go back and appreciate this album. It is in no way crude or unpolished, and the artistry and playing are of an equally high quality.
The Gipsy Kings are never going to have the kind of critical acclaim that Paco de Lucia has, but their popularization of poppy rumba flamenca among non-Spanish speakers is nothing to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, here on Roots, the octet turns back to the tradition while making their own imprint on it. Having the band record in an old farm house, producer Craig Street, it seems, simply told them to sit down to play their bittersweet songs. Without electric instruments or a drum set to clutter the mix, brisk acoustic guitars will sweep listeners up in the driving rhythms as lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo soars overhead, particularly on the instrumental songs. When Nicolas, Canut and Patchai Reyes take turns on lead vocals, Street adeptly captures the timbre and nuance of the singers' voices while also delicately balancing the guitar, hand percussion and bass. No pop songs or bombastic rock beats:here's one that purists cannot argue with.