Gipsy Kings: Nicolas Reyes (vocals, guitar); Tonino Baliardo (lead guitar); Andre Reyes (guitar, background vocals); Maurice "Diego" Baliardo, Jahloul "Chico" Bouchikhi (guitar, handclapping); Jacques "Paco" Baliardo, Paul "Pablo" Reyes (guitar); Dominique Perrier (synthesizer); Gerard Prevost (synthesizer, bass); Claude Salnieri (drums); Marc Chantereau (percussion).
Personnel: Nicol s Reyes (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Diego Baliardo, Jahloul "Chico" Bouchikhi (guitar, hand claps); Andre Reyes (guitar, background vocals); Jacques "Paco" Bliardo, Tonino Baliardo (guitar); Gerard Prevost (synthesizer, bass guitar); Dominique Perrier (synthesizer); Marc Chantereau (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Daniel Michel .
Recording information: Studio Pathe Marconi EMI, Bologne.
Arrangers: Dominique Perrier; Gerard Prevost.
This eponymously-titled U.S. debut introduced the world to the Gipsy Kings' unique, pop-inflected take on native Spanish music, in the process bringing the band international popularity. Though the group's members aren't technically "gipsies" (they acquired the name during their early days of traveling, gigging, and playing in the streets of Southern France), their music draws heavily from gipsy and flamenco traditions in content and style. However the Gipsy Kings regional roots are only the first ingredient in their special brand of World Fusion; elements of Latin American, Middle Eastern and North African music are also in evidence.
On this, arguably the finest of the group's efforts, the caliber of the musicianship is striking. Rhythmically athletic acoustic guitars, passionate singing, and stirring, syncopated handclaps coalesce to create a fresh, romantic, and eminently danceable sound. Modulations of mood abound, from joyous, percussive romps ("Bem, Bem, Maria") through more sedate tunes evocative of intimate Spanish cafes ("Quiero Saber"), to plaintive melodies embellished with gorgeous flamenco motifs, such as "Tu Quieres Volver." Also included are two of the band's biggest hits, "Djobi Djoba" and the endlessly infectious "Bamboleo." GIPSY KINGS is an excellent place to start exploring this inventive, wonderfully accessible music.