Gypsy music in the hands of Doch is fun and vibrant.
Doch is a gathering of vibrant, tight, young, talented Brisbane musicians. This is bright, exotic dance music. The music is from the Rom peoples of Central and Eastern Europe and from the Gypsy brass wedding bands. A rich European musical culture such as this is likely to include touches of many other musical traditions, although chicken and egg arguments must abound here.
After all the Rom culture predates many of our more modern music types. So if we feel we’re hearing something that sounds like it’s from a French movie in Waltz or a Spanish trumpet solo in Underground, well perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. It could be the other way around anyway. But then this band of thinking, exuberant and questioning musicians is likely to throw in their own influences. I don’t know for example how much traditional Gypsy music has banjo thrown into the mix, played by Nick Lavers sometimes in something of the style of Bela Fleck.
Doch includes on stage two clarinets, a trumpet, flugelhorn, piano accordion, bass clarinet, fiddle, double bass and drums/percussion. That’s a busy mix, which doesn’t leave a lot of space sometimes for air around melodies. But this sort of music is all about bounce and step. The banjo and the bass clarinet give Doch a distinctive sound, along with swiftly moving drumming from Will Eager. ‘Waltz’ opens with a beautiful melody penned by Eager, which soon extends into a suite of tunes and tempos and time signatures.
The traditional tune ‘Chuperlika’ is beautifully presented. All of Doch’s members are all very competent indeed with a young energy which favours often very quickarrangements of great old tunes. There are touches of sensitivity and humour but overwhelmingly we’re treated to sassy Gypsy bluster.
released October 1, 2002
Rebecca Craner - clarinet
Jane McEniery - double bass
Michael Rogers - trumpet, flugelhorn
Will Eager - drums, cajon, percussion
Michael Patterson - violin
Nick Lavers - banjo
Tom Raymond - clarinet, bass clarinet, piano accordion
Produced by Joy Weng and Doch
Recorded and mixed by Joy Weng
Except 'The Monkey', recorded and mixed by Will Eager
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