BGKO is a stable band that regularly performs in Barcelona and all Europe. But more than that, it’s an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guests appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Nevertheless, the interaction became mutual and the city became a melting pot with so many different styles and cultures to embrace, so many ears to play for, and so many dancing feet to move.
“Del Ebro al Danubio” consists of 12 striking soundscapes that serve as a bridge between different cultures that BGKO was inspired by: Romanian, Russian and Serbian gypsy songs; purifying Hungarian, Transylvanian, Klezmer and Albanian dances; contemplative melodies of Lebanese Arabic-Catalan tradition, Jewish and Bosnian sevdah.
Christian Escoude combines elements of gypsy jazz, bop, and a contemporary flavor during these 1989 sessions that also include fellow guitarists Paul Challin Ferret, Jimmy Gourley, Frederic Sylvestre, accordion player Marcel Azzla, cellist Vincent Courtois, bassist Alby Cullaz, and either Billy Hart or Philippe Combelle on drums. The presence of so many players sometimes muddies the sound, especially when Azzla is too prominent in the mix. Several of the works were written by Escoude's late uncle, the popular accordion player/composer Gus Viseur, who had worked with Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli in the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, though the switch to electric guitars and addition of percussion indicates this is not your father's gypsy music.